Die sieben letzten Worte unseres Erlösers am Kreuze
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The Seven Last Words of Our Saviour on the Cross or
Seven Sonatas Preceded by an Introduction And Concluded by an Earthquake.
Hob. XX: 1A / orchestral version (1785)
Spoken words in German
In 1785 the cathedral of Cádiz commissioned Joseph Haydn to supply instrumental compositions on the seven last words of Christ for the Good Friday service at the Grotto Santa Cueva.
Joseph Haydn: "...it was no easy task to compose seven adagios lasting ten minutes each, and to succeed one another without fatiguing the listeners; indeed, I found it quite impossible to confine myself to the appointed limits."
Each movement of the work is preceded by one of the Seven Last Words of Christ as its motto. Through pain and sadness the music leads us on towards the confidence of faith. Wild orchestral sounds outline the earthquake in the Saviour's final hour.
The Camerata Salzburg, one of the most employed chamber orchestras in the world, can here be heard with an especially felicitous interpretation of this work.
In this recording they are led by their chief conductor from 1996-2006, Sir Roger Norrington.
Sonata I. / Largo
Sonata II. / Grave e Cantabile