Wedding Music by Melchior Franck

Since today is Valentine's Day, we're going to take a look at three pieces by Melchior Franck (ca. 1579-1639) that were written for weddings. Festive music composed especially for the occasion has unfortunately gone out of style today. Many bridal couples are instead quick to draw on the "Wedding March" from Mendelssohn's Midsummer Night's Dream or the Bridal Chorus ("Here Comes the Bride") from Wagner's Lohengrin.

But a wedding would be the perfect opportunity to take a text written especially for the bridal couple and have it set as a unique piece of music for the special day. Here are three settings by Melchior Franck, who has 42 sources for wedding music in RISM:

First is a "Musical Congratulations" dedicated to the merchant Ambrosius Walchen and his wife Barbara Ruffer, with very appropriate words that begin "The kingdom of heaven is like a merchant."

A little bit strange from today's point of view is the text that was chosen for the wedding of the mayor of Coburg Caspar Langer and his wife Anna Hase: "Do not be afraid."

Georg Rüger, son of the princely Saxon forest master, and his wife Kunigunde Beßler could enjoy a New Wedding Song in a five-part setting.

Image: Title page of “Das Himmelreich ist gleich einem Kaufmann” by Melchior Franck. Leipziger Stadtbibliothek (D-LEm II. 4. 42), RISM ID no. 990018862. Available online from




Category: Events

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