The RTÉ Vanbrugh Quartet
Joseph Haydn (1732 - 1809)
The Seven Last Words of our Saviour on the Cross Op. 51
In 1785 Haydn was commissioned by a Canon of the grotto Church of Santa Cueva in Cadiz to write an orchestral work that would serve as an aid to meditation during the religious services on Good Friday. Haydn composed the work during the winter of 1786-7, for an orchestra of strings, pairs of flutes, oboes and bassoons, four horns, two trumpets and timpani. It was first performed in Cadiz on Good Friday in 1787. Haydn’s fame was now extending beyond the Austro-Hungarian Empire and The Seven Last Words was to secure his international reputation. The work attracted great attention in Spain, and when the orchestral parts were being engraved by his publisher later that year, Haydn arranged it for string quartet, a more popular and accessible performance medium. This is the version that will be performed by the RTÉ Vanbrugh Quartet.
This concert will be recorded by RTÉ lyric fm for EBU broadcast on BBC Radio 3 on Holy Sunday, 24 March 2013.