You have been warned
Holy health and safety at Mount Saint Bernard Abbey, in Charnwood Forest, Leicestershire. The Aeolian String Quartet's recording of the complete Haydn quartets, which featured in Unlocking the Sound Of Vinyl, includes The Seven Last Words interspersed with readings by Peter Pears.
Using spoken texts with The Seven Last Words follows the historical precedent of the first performance in Cádiz Cathedral in 1787. The sources for the readings by Peter Pears are John Donne, George Herbert, Robert Herrick, Edith Sitwell, Edwin Muir and David Gascoyne, and the texts were selected by Reginald Barrett-Ayres. Photo is (c) On An Overgrown Path 2009. Report broken links, missing images and errors to - overgrownpath at hotmail dot co dot uk
This does not use spoken texts, but instead restores some music omitted from the standard string quartet version and adds a new movement taken from Haydn's own choral adaption.
Beautifully played, but at 69 minutes, for me at least, just too molto adagio to be taken at one sitting.
So spoken texts receive my vote. But the interesting debate is what texts?