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wedding quartets Archives - Fedora Strings Sheet Music for Sale

Duo wedding violin and cello music at Orton Hall Hotel, Peterborough, Cambridgeshire

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Orton Hall Hotel is one of the best wedding venues in Peterborough, so we were delighted  when our string trio was invited to play wedding music here again a couple of weeks ago.



We performed for  three hours during drinks and the wedding breakfast, moving from the conservatory – which is light and airy – to the main dining room.


The bride and groom had chosen extremely elegant decorations for the table settings and, as this was an Italian wedding, they had asked us to include some Italian music; so we played  Ave Maria, a selection from Vivaldi’s The Seasons, Italian arias – including Nessun Dorma and pieces from  La Boheme, La Traviata and Rigoletto – and  our own sheet music arrangement of Speak Softly – the love song  from The Godfather movie.


Orton Hall is an 18th century manor house surrounded by 20 acres of beautifully cared for grounds, which give  it a very open, relaxed feel. Organisation was excellent  throughout the day and the weather was wonderfully warm for October.

Duo wedding violin and cello music at Fawsley Hall

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Last Friday our string duet played for a wedding ceremony and reception at the stunningly beautiful Fawsley Hall – a Tudor country mansion in hundreds of acres of grounds which were originally designed by Capability Brown.As we drove up to the hall it was relaxing to see so many sheep peacefully grazing in the fields of this tranquil estate.

The  wedding ceremony took place in an impressively elegant  room with a high ceiling and very resonant acoustics.


We played mainly classical music as the guests arrived and most of it was baroque; this always  seems appropriate for more ceremonial occasions. The bride had asked us to perform  our string duet of Pachelbel’s Canon in D as her bridesmaids walked in and Bridal Chorus for her own  entrance. For the signing she had requested our sheet music arrangement of Your Song by Elton John and Arrival of the Queen of Sheba as exit music.



There was a building on this site as early as the eighth century and the estate is mentioned in the Domesday Book. It’s  fascinating to brood on how much history the hall has seen and how many weddings and romances it has witnessed. I don’t suppose human nature has changed a great deal in all that time.


Wedding receptions and ceremonies in Cambridgeshire and Northamptonshire: Kimbolton Castle, Cambridgeshire

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A few days ago our string violin duo played for a wedding reception at Kimbolton Castle in Cambridgeshire: a magnificent  venue with superb architecture and a fascinating history. It was formerly the home of Katherine of Aragon, Henry VIII’s first wife, and in 1615  was bought by Sir Henry Montagu, a royalist who was one of Charles I’s most trusted friends in the Civil War.

kimbolton 1

The bridal couple had requested a selection of happy, relaxed music, so Roger and Amanda played a mixture of folk fiddle, jazz, baroque – in particular Vivaldi’s Concerto in A minor for two violins – and Broadway songs – which Roger especially enjoys arranging. They set up in the courtyard of the castle which had some shelter, but also good projection, and had a very enjoyable afternoon with many appreciative comments from the bride, the groom and the guests. There was even a specially hired ice cream tricycle giving out ice creams to help people keep cool – an original and very appropriate idea as it was exceptionally hot weather.

ice cream


Overall this was a relaxed wedding in a marvellous countryside setting: a truly memorable occasion.

Wedding ceremonies and receptions in Cambridgeshire: Bassmead Manor, St Neots

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Last week our string duo  played for a wedding reception at Bassmead Manor. It was the second time we’d played here in a week and it’s no surprise it’s popular: it’s an exceptionally pretty venue in the middle of the peaceful Cambridgeshire countryside with a lovely garden. The restored barns are on the site of a medieval moat and the  area has been designated  a listed monument  by English Heritage.

bassmead best

The weather was extremely hot and for much of the time we were playing outside , next to the river, in the shade of a tree and to the intermittent accompaniment of peacocks.


We began with our own sheet music arrangements of classical and baroque music, moving on to newer arrangements of lighter pieces such as Viva la Vida, Palladio, Paradise, One Day Like This and some Beatles songs. The groom had also requested an arrangement of She’s Always a Woman by Billy Joel.


It was good to play in a venue so full of history. We may not live long, but classical music will!


Wedding quartets in Cambridgeshire

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Last Saturday our string quartet played for a wonderful family wedding in Cambridgeshire. The ceremony had taken place in the local church and the wedding couple then arrived at the  garden of the bride’s family home by boat. As the bride  stepped on land we played her chosen piece: Meditation by Massenet.

The garden was very beautiful: immaculately tended and full of characterful features and hide away areas – the ideal garden of one’s dreams really. The family are classical music lovers and the bride asked us to select well known classics for the programme, and to include lots of Mozart and some Strauss waltzes. We played Mozart’s Divertimento in F, Eine Kleine Nacht Musik, Exultate Jubilate, Brahms Hungarian Dance, Italian arias, well known romantic pieces by Borodin, Verdi and Dvorak, and Strauss’s Blue Danube and Emperor waltz collections.

This was a large and extremely happy wedding celebration and it was extremely enjoyable to be part of the occasion and play string ensemble music which fitted  well into the surroundings and was so appropriate for the people involved.  We went home feeling  euphoric.


Wedding ceremonies and receptions in Cambridgeshire

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Last week our wedding string quartet played for a  reception at the home of the bridegroom’s parents – a beautiful house in Cambridgeshire. There were around 100 guests and we were booked to play for three hours to accompany drinks and the wedding breakfast. A spacious marquee had been set up in the garden and was attractively decorated with lighting that enhanced the happy, celebratory atmosphere.


The bride and groom had suggested we play mainly classical string ensemble pieces, focusing on baroque and romantic, and asked if we could finish with music from West End shows.   We started with selections from Handel’s Water Music, Vivaldi’ s Seasons and Bach’s Brandenburg Concerto No 3  – all very popular – and moved on to include well known arias from Italian operas  and music by Tchaikovsky, Dvorak and Debussy. Our show selection featured songs  from Les Miserables, Oliver, Fiddler on the Roof  and West Side Story.

It was a lovely occasion. perhaps especially as the venue was so relaxed and personal, and it was a pleasure for us to perform the wonderful string quartet repertoire in such a delightful setting and with such an appreciative audience.

Fedora Strings' New Wedding String Quartet Member

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We’re happy to welcome a new member to  our wedding string quartet: Amanda Lipman Amanda studied in London and Paris before returning to the UK to work with the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra and BBC Radio Orchestra and she has her own string ensemble chamber music group. She’ll be joining us for wedding quartet concerts in Cambridgeshire, Lincolnshire, Bedfordshire and Northamptonshire this season.She plays on a 19th century violin made by Voller which is a copy of a Guiseppe Guarneri del Gesu.

Amanda Lipman

String Quartet Rehearsals in Cambridgeshire and Northamptonshire

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This Thursday marks the first in a series of wedding quartet rehearsals  we’ve planned to prepare for our forthcoming busy season of work in Cambridgeshire, Northamptonshire, Lincolnshire, Befordshire , London and Surrey. As always we are expanding our wedding music repertoire, this time including works by Monteverdi, Strauss and other classical composers alongside some pop sheet music arrangements, mostly written by Roger.

string quartet

String quartet playing is quite different from string duo playing. In a duo you are very much equal partners  – and it’s crucial that both players can project and play like a soloist when they have the tune and fall back into an accompanying role when necessary. In string duo work I’ve always pestered Roger for more and more tunes on the cello and this has sometimes made the music extremely demanding. In our arrangement of Widor’s Toccata, for example, the arpeggios involve loads of string crossing and shifting on the cello,  and are far easier on the original instrument – the organ. And our duo version of the  famous Pachelbel Canon transforms the cello part from eight notes repeated 54 times to lots of tricky, fun, fast passages.

All this adventure is not so often possible for the cellist in a string quartet. There’s a strong hierachy, with the leader having the majority of the tunes, and the cellist needing to provide the bass line and not being too individual. However, while this is less technically demanding, the unity of sound created by a string quartet is an absolute pleasure to be involved in, and  character is , of course, important in all performance.

pachebel Johann Pachelbel

By the way, to understand more of what I mean about the cello part of Pachelbel Canon have a look at Rob Paravonian’s speech on You Tube : http://youtu.be/JdxkVQy7QLM – its’ extremely funny.

String ensemble events in Northamptonshire: Shoe Heaven at Northampton Museum

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Last Friday night our Fedora Strings’  duo played for the Shoe Heaven event at Northampton Museum and Art Gallery. Northampton has the largest collection of shoes in the world and the examples on display ranged from the exquisite and historically fascinating (Nijinsky’s ballet shoes and Roman sandals looking as modern as anything you’d find in a shop today) to the macabre ( tiny shoes for Chinese women with bound feet which must have meant the wearer’s movement was cruelly limited.)


We’d been given a free choice of music to perform and Roger had arranged Elvis Presley’s Blue Suede Shoes for the occasion. We also chose appropriate lighter music such as Puttin’ on the Ritz, Let’s Face the Music and Dance and I Could Have Danced All Night which we followed with several Beatles’ numbers. We divided the playing into three sections: Light, Folk and Classical. Everything was our own sheet music arrangements for string duo and most of the pieces we can also play as wedding quartet music.

shoes 2

Some of the more bizarre shoe designs  were shaped so weirdly that it made me question the significance of shoes in general, apart from basic foot protection. While I certainly think it’s good if shoes are imaginative and attractive, they clearly mean more to women than they do to men. I once heard someone say that you can tell what a woman thinks about herself by observing the kind of shoes she wears. I doubt that that’s entirely true, but I bet no one would even suggest it about a man.

Wedding receptions and ceremonies in Peterborough and Suffolk: Hengrave Hall, Bury St Edmunds

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Yesterday our string duo played for a wedding ceremony and reception  at Hengrave Hall on the outskirts of  Bury St Edmunds. Hengrave Hall is a grand tudor  house set in 50 acres of grounds and was once popular with Elizabeth 1st, who was a frequent guest.


We had been asked to play a selection of classical and folk music and started by performing well known string ensemble wedding ceremony pieces  as the guests arrived. The wedding couple chose Pachelbel’s Canon for the bride’s entrance, Delibes’ Flower Duet, Bach’s Prelude from Unaccompanied Cello Suite No 1 and Bach’s Air on a G String for the signing, and Handel’s Arrival of the Queen of Sheba for the exit music. After the ceremony we had a short break and then moved to one of the reception rooms where we played a mixture of folk music and lighter pieces for around one and a half hours. These included, Jeannie with the Light Brown Hair, Lark in the Clear Air, Eleanor Rigby, Yesterday, Imagine, Night and Day and Let’s Face the Music and Dance

Although we didn’t have time to explore Hengrave as thoroughly as we would have liked, it was clearly an extremely impressive venue, full of character and elegance, and the acoustics were wonderfully resonant.