Haydn - The Seven Last Words | Blue Coast Music

Haydn - The Seven Last Words

New Esterhazy Quartet - Haydn: The Seven Last Words - Cover Image

Haydn - The Seven Last Words

Record Label: 
# Play Song Title Duration Composer

The Earthquake: Presto e con tutta la forza

2:18 Joseph Haydn

Abelard and Thibault

3:09 Joseph Haydn

Sonata VII: Largo

7:42 Joseph Haydn

Into Your Hands, Father, I commend my Spirit

2:42 Joseph Haydn

Sonata VI: Lento

4:59 Joseph Haydn

It is finished

1:02 Joseph Haydn

Sonata V: Adagio

6:57 Joseph Haydn

I thirst

2:48 Joseph Haydn

Sonata IV: Largo

8:18 Joseph Haydn

My God, my God, why have You forsaken me?

2:13 Joseph Haydn

Sonata III: Grave

8:53 Joseph Haydn

Woman, behold your Son!

2:05 Joseph Haydn

Sonata II: Grave e cantabile

7:39 Joseph Haydn

Today you will be with me in Paradise

1:24 Joseph Haydn

Sonata I: Largo

6:11 Joseph Haydn

Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do

2:39 Joseph Haydn

Introduction: Maestoso ed adagio

4:49 Joseph Haydn

Haydn himself explained the origin and difficulty of writing the work when the publisher Breitkopf & Härtel issued (in 1801) a new edition and requested a preface:

Some fifteen years ago I was requested by a canon of Cádiz to compose instrumental music on the Seven Last Words of Our Savior On the Cross. It was customary at the Cathedral of Cádiz to produce an oratorio every year during Lent, the effect of the performance being not a little enhanced by the following circumstances. The walls, windows, and pillars of the church were hung with black cloth, and only one large lamp hanging from the center of the roof broke the solemn darkness. At midday, the doors were closed and the ceremony began. After a short service the bishop ascended the pulpit, pronounced the first of the seven words (or sentences) and delivered a discourse thereon. This ended, he left the pulpit and fell to his knees before the altar. The interval was filled by music. The bishop then in like manner pronounced the second word, then the third, and so on, the orchestra following on the conclusion of each discourse. My composition was subject to these conditions, and 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.

The priest who commissioned the work, Don José Sáenz de Santa María, had reconditioned the Oratorio de la Santa Cueva, and paid Haydn in a most unusual way – sending the composer a cake which Haydn discovered was filled with gold coins.

Joseph Haydn