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Franz Joseph Haydn (1732-1809)

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Haydn: The Seven Last Words of Our Saviour on the Cross (Orchestral version, 1786)


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Release date:

1st Oct 2007






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Haydn: The Seven Last Words of Our Saviour on the Cross (Orchestral version, 1786)


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The Seven Last Words of Christ on the Cross was premièred in Cadiz, a city at the southernmost tip of the Iberian Peninsula.

It was commissioned by a confraternity called the Hermandad de la Santa Cueva at the end of the 18th century. At this time, Cadiz was a prosperous and cosmopolitan city and Haydn was famous all over Europe.

For his second recording of this masterpiece, Jordi Savall has decided to play not only on period instruments, but also in a 'period place', the Santa Cueva Church, in which the première took place in 1786. Moreover, Jordi Savall has commissioned two texts from the theologist Raimon Panikkar and the writer José Saramago (Nobel Prize for Literature 1998). Returning to the original context for which Haydn's work was written, he thought it fitting to invite two great masters of spiritual and humanistic thought of our own day to complement the brief Biblical quotations with a series of texts and commentaries which reflect their profound spiritual and humanistic convictions. Follow that!

BBC Music Magazine

November 2007


“Savall shows an awareness not only of the music's sense of drama, but also of its nobility of expression, solemnity and imaginative use of sonority. This is as good a performance of the original version of the piece I have heard. ”

Gramophone Magazine

December 2007

“Though his period orchestra, based on a string section of 16, is smaller than I find ideal, Jordi Savall directs a good, straightforward performance, carefully balanced, and minutely attentive to the composer's markings, not least the disruptive sforzando accents that pepper the score. The Earthquake, complete with gunfire timpani and screeching, snarling valveless brass, is properly convulsive.”

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