A Renaissance playlist can set the mood for your Renaissance-themed wedding, or just supply romantic and racy wedding songs. Renaissance music is gorgeous, accessible, and uncommon. Hardly any wedding guest will feel like they just can't listen to “Pur ti miro” again.
Bride Stefanie Renee shared her Renaissance playlist.
We had a Renaissance-themed wedding, so that settled the main genre for our music. At the end of the night we played a CD that I burned to get our groove on. I'm an opera singer and sang two arias to my sweetie during the ceremony.
- Prelude: Various Renaissance and Baroque organ music
- Processional: Frescobaldi's Bergamasca
- Fanfare: Mouret's “Rondeau” (played by my uncle on trumpet)
- Bride's Aria: Dulcissime from Carmina Burana
- Bride's Epithalamium: Deh Torna Mio Bene, H. Proch
- Recessional: Selections from Frescobaldi's Fiori Musical
Reception: Various Renaissance pieces and holiday carols from a flute and recorder duo, Flutes of Fancy.
End of Reception: The CD
- Dead Can Dance's “Saltarello”
- Delerium's “Flowers Become Screens”
- Delerium's “Firefly”
- OMD's “Secret”
- Tin Tin's “Kiss Me”
- Siouxsie and the Banshees' “Peek-a-Boo”
- The Cure's “Lovecats”
- New Order's “Blue Monday”
- Yaz's “Bad Connection”
- The Bangles' “Hazy Shade of Winter”
- Bananarama's “Venus”
- The Smiths' “How Soon is Now?”
- Tears for Fears' “Mad World”
Your own Renaissance playlist
Even if you and your partner aren't early music geeks, you might enjoy the offbeat fun of a Renaissance wedding song or two. Here are some of the greatest hits of Renaissance music:
- “Pachelbel Canon” is a Renaissance piece, even though it has become insanely popular in the 21st century.
- “If Ye Love Me,” by Thomas Tallis, was played at the wedding of Prince Harry & Meghan Markle. It's religious rather than romantic, but extremely beautiful.
- “Pur ti miro,” by Monteverdi, has to be one of the most romantic songs ever. “I adore you, I embrace you, I desire you, I enchain you, no more grieving, no more sorrow, O my dearest, O my beloved. I am yours, O my love, tell me so, you are mine, mine alone, O my love.”
- “It Was a Lover and His Lass,” by Thomas Morley, is a sweet madrigal from one of the most popular composers of madrigals.
- “Sing We and Chant It,” also by Thomas Morley, is a bit more sophisticated.
- “Now Is the Month of Maying,” one more by Morley, is overtly sexy, saying, “Now is the month of maying, when merry lads are playing, Each with his bonny lass upon the greeny grass.” In the last verse listeners are invited to “play barley break” — in other words, offered “a roll in the hay.” Okay, it's not that racy by modern standards, but it was hot stuff in the 1500s.
- “Weep O mine eyes,” by John Bennet, can be understood as a sad piece, but many singers consider “O when begin you to swell so high that I may drown me in you?” code for something much sexier. However you interpret it, the tune its very passionate.
- ‘L'Amor Dona Ch'lo Te Porto,” by Jacopo da Fogliano is a song from a lover to his love, revealing the passione that burns inside him.
- “Dolce amoroso foco,” another popular Italian madrigal, calls the lover to enjoy, at last, pleasure without haste.
Click through to listen to these pieces on Amazon, or contact your local college music department for moderately priced musician referrals.