Music for Downton Abbey wedding

John Stanley, 1712-1786

John Stanley, 1712-1786

We eagerly awaited the premiere of Downton Abbey which was on PBS last night, and I was especially interested to see what was used for the music for Mary and Matthew’s wedding. It was John Stanley’s Trumpet Voluntary in D. This is a piece which I have played countless times, both as a solo organist and with a trumpeter.

Here is a video of this piece, in a performance by organist Bernhard Hannöver:

John Stanley (1712-1786) was a blind organist. I didn’t know till now, however, that it was an accident when he was 2 years old, that caused his blindness when he fell on a marble hearth with a china basin in his hand. He was a student of Maurice Greene, and was appointed to his first church job at age eleven. Apparently Georg Frideric Handel regularly heard Stanley perform on organ and harpsichord at the Society of the Inner Temple. Here’s what I found interesting from the Wikipedia entry:

Though virtually blind, Stanley had a remarkable memory which helped him direct many of Handel’s oratorios and to enjoy music-making and card games with his many friends. If he had to accompany a new oratorio he would ask his sister-in-law to play it through just once—enough to commit it to memory.

The term “trumpet voluntary” even has its own Wikipedia entry. It is a piece featuring the trumpet stop, and alternates with “plenum” — full organ. The most famous Trumpet Voluntary (also called “The Prince of Denmark’s March”) is the one by Jeremiah Clarke (1674-1707), and was used for the wedding of Princess Diana to Prince Charles. Click here and you’ll recognize it.


About Katherine Crosier

In addition to playing the organ I am interested in documenting life's special moments through journaling, scrapbooking, photography and slideshow production. My family just groans.
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5 Responses to Music for Downton Abbey wedding

  1. Foerster T says:

    I have just listened to Diane bish playing this Piece ,, and did,t like it one bit ,, it was really very loud , and for my taste too American ,, too much going on the organ she played it on sounded like a wurlitzer at a fair ground,, I much prefer this Piece ,,, I think it is how it should be played, it is clear ,, and at the same time uplifting ,, it took me a while to find out what the Name of the Piece is ,, can anyone tell me if its available on cd and who would be playing it , the Name of the cd any ideas , thanks

  2. Pingback: Mesmerized by Downton Abbey music | Another Year of Insanity

  3. beth says:

    Please show us the music for Edith and Bertie’s wedding

  4. John Crafton says:

    Yes….what was the piano piece played at Edith’s wedding?

  5. Please check out for commentary on the music that was performed for Lady Edith’s wedding.

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