Saturday, March 31, 2007

The Seven Last Words


My photograph was taken at the Anglican Shrine at Walsingham, Norfolk, and celebrates both the birth of Joseph Haydn 275 years ago, on March 31st 1732, and the start of Holy Week.

Now playing – Emerson Quartet performing Haydn’s ‘The Seven Last Words’. The cathedral in Cádiz commissioned Haydn, who was a devout Catholic, to write orchestral interludes for performance between the spoken parts of the service in the great Spanish Baroque church during Holy Week. The composer wrote seven adagios for the cathedral, and transcribed these for string quartet in the year of their first performance, 1787, and later made a choral version. The Emerson’s recorded ‘The Seven Last Words’ in New York in 2002 as part of their complete Haydn project.


Joseph Haydn was born in Rohrau, Lower Austria, and ranks as one of the most important composers of all time. However, unlike Mozart's, today's important anniversary of his birth has passed virtually unnoticed. He was the first great Viennese composer, and is known as both the "Father of the Symphony" and the "Father of the String Quartet" in whose footsteps Mozart and Beethoven followed.

Meanwhile back in Cádiz, Manuel de Falla was buried in the crypt of the cathedral in 1946.

Now enjoy Easter at Aldeburgh
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