10 Jan 2020

Wedding bangers and clangers with Clarissa Dunn

From Summer Times 2020/2021, 11:25 am on 10 January 2020

Planning a wedding but stuck on the music? Luckily, RNZ Concert presenter Clarissa Dunn is also a wedding celebrant. She suggests some tunes to set the mood.

wedding mens shoes and edge of gown

Photo: Gianni Scognamiglio / Unsplash

Clarissa Dunn

Clarissa Dunn Photo: Photo by Rebekah Parsons-King

When it comes to the music at New Zealand weddings, you get a lot of variety, Clarissa tells Emile Donovan.

But she does admit to quite often hearing Wagner's 'Bridal Chorus' – aka 'Here Comes the Bride' – and Pachelbel's 'Canon in D'. 

"And a lot of Ed Sheeran, a LOT of Ed Sheeran".

For a sweet blend of traditional and pop music, Clarissa recommends pianist Paul Hankinson's wedding version of Ed Sheeran's 'Perfect' featuring Pachelbel's 'Canon':

Another classical piece that works well for a bride's arrival is the one Duchess Meghan and Duke Harry went for – Handel's 'Eternal Source of Light Divine'.

This version by American singer Kathleen Battle and trumpeter Wynston Marsalis is her favourite:

When friends and family put up their hands to perform something at a wedding it's always a special occasion, Clarissa says.

She once saw a family chorus sing a bluegrass version of Leonard Cohen's 'Hallelujah'. Another time, two groomsmen performed the traditional Irish/Scottish folk song 'Wild Mountain Thyme' with a guitar and a fiddle.

Clarissa's favourite recording of that song is by German countertenor Andreas Scholl:

If you want to make people cry at your wedding, look no further than jazz singer Eva Cassidy, Clarissa says.

"'You Take My Breath Away' would be a gorgeous processional":

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