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Haydn - The Seven Last Words

Composer Joseph Haydn
Performer Nicolas Stavy
Period Classical
Catalogue Number BIS-2429 SACD
EAN 7318599923819
Format SACD Hybrid

This hybrid disc plays on both CD and SACD players
SACD Surround - SACD Stereo - CD Stereo

Release date Jul 2019
Total time 46'54

The Seven Last Words of Christ refers to the seven short phrases uttered by Jesus on the cross, as gathered from the New Testament. Over the centuries the crucifixion has served as inspiration to countless composers, and settings of these utterances have become something of a subgenre, beginning in the Renaissance with early motets and continuing into our own time. By way of César Franck and Sofia Gubaidulina, composers ranging from Heinrich Schütz to Tristan Murail have contributed versions using various combinations of voice and/or instruments.

One of the best known of these settings is probably the one by Joseph Haydn. The one – or rather the four: a rather complicated story begins in 1785, when Haydn received a commission from Cadíz in Spain, at the other end of Europe. He was asked to compose seven slow movements, each ca 10 minutes long, to be played by an orchestra in alternation with the priest expounding on each of the seven words. Relishing this unusual challenge, Haydn accepted and ended up so pleased with the result that he immediately made a version for string quartet as well as authorising another one for keyboard. The work became so popular across Europe that ten years later the music was used one final time, in an oratorio for choir and orchestra. The work is here heard in the version for keyboard, performed by the French pianist Nicolas Stavy. He closes the disc with another unusual work in Haydn’s oeuvre, the Andante con variazioni, Hob. XVII/6, which has been described as ‘the deepest and most profound set of variations for piano composed between Bach and Beethoven’.
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  Joseph Haydn
  The Seven Last Words of Christ on the Cross, Hob. XX/1C 46'25
01 L’Introduzione 5'12
02 Sonata I. Largo: Pater dimitte illis quia nesciunt quid faciunt 6'03
03 Sonata II. Grave e cantabile: Hodie mecum eris in Paradiso 5'49
04 Sonata III. Grave: Mulier ecce filius tuus 6'18
05 Sonata IV. Largo: Deus meus, Deus meus, utquid dereliquisti me? 4'57
06 Sonata V. Adagio: Sitio 5'25
07 Sonata VI. Lento: Consummatum est 5'57
08 Sonata VII. Largo: In manus tuas, Domine, commendo spiritum meum 5'03
09 Il Terremoto (The earthquake). Presto 1'41
  Andante con variazioni in F minor, Hob. XVII/6 15'19
10 Andante (Theme) 4'27
11 [Variation I] 3'28
12 [Variation II] 3'33
13 [Coda] 3'51
  Album total 46'54
ComposerHaydn, Joseph
PianoStavy, Nicolas

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