With the participation of: François Grin, Girolamo Bottiglieri, Raya Raytcheva, Caroline Haas
Joseph Haydn’s Seven Last Words of Christ on the Cross was first performed in Cadix on Friday 6 April 1787. Given the interest in the piece caused by further Viennese performances of the oratorio, in July the publisher Artaria also brought out two instrumental versions of the work that he had commissioned Haydn to make, one for string quartet and the other for piano. The result of this was a piece unique in the classical chamber music repertoire; seven slow movements preceded by an introduction and concluded with a tempestuous evocation of the earthquake that struck at Christ’s death. Interestingly enough, the emotion inherent in the text still remains embedded in the music despite the absence of the text itself.