Haydn: The Seven Last Words of Christ, Hob.XX 2 (Die sieben letzten Worte unseres Erloesers am Kreuze, Hob.XX 2) Cuarteto Casals
- Joseph Haydn (1732-1809): The Seven Last Words of Christ, Hob.XX 2
- 1Introduzione. Maestoso ed adagio05:18
- 2Sonata I. Vater, vergib ihnen. Largo05:49
- 3Sonata II. Fuerwahr, ich sag' es dir. Grave e cantabile08:22
- 4Sonata III. Frau, hier siehe deinen Sohn. Grave09:24
- 5Sonata IV. Mein Gott, mein Gott, warum hast du mich verlassen? Largo06:39
- 6Sonata V. Jesus rufet - Ach, mich duerstet! Adagio08:46
- 7Sonata VI. Es ist vollbracht. Lento07:39
- 8Sonata VII. Vater, in deine Haende empfehle ich meinen Geist. Largo06:30
- 9Terremoto. Presto e con tutta la forza01:46
Info for Haydn: The Seven Last Words of Christ, Hob.XX 2 (Die sieben letzten Worte unseres Erloesers am Kreuze, Hob.XX 2)
Haydn wrote his 'Seven Last Words' in 1786/87 for Good Friday devotions in Cádiz. Although the custom in Cádiz was to perform an oratorio, Haydn's brief was in fact to write seven movements for orchestra alone, each creating a mood inspired by one of the sayings attributed to the dying Christ. He chose to frame them with a further slow movement called ‘Introduzione’ and a concluding Presto entitled ‘Il Terremoto’, intended to depict the earthquake that occurred after Christ’s death (Matthew 27:51).
This purely instrumental 'oratorio' consisting of seven contemplative slow movements was by no means an easy task; but the outcome was a work of sublime nobility, which in Haydn’s own transcription for string quartet has enjoyed unfailing popularity ever since.
It is entirely appropriate that this recording of Haydn’s 'Seven Last Words of Christ' should be performed by the Cuarteto Casals, for the work represents one of the few surviving traces of the composer’s flourishing relationship with Spain, where his music seems quickly to have become as popular as it was in France and Britain.
Abel Tomàs Realp, 1st violin
Vera Martínez Mehner, 2nd violin
Jonathan Brown, viola
Arnau Tomàs Realp, cello
A quartet for the new millennium if I ever heard one ” wrote Strad magazine upon hearing Cuarteto Casals for the first time, shortly after its inception in 1997 at the Escuela Reina Sofía in Madrid.
Since winning First Prizes at the London and Brahms-Hamburg competitions, Cuarteto Casals has been a repeated guest at the world’s most prestigious concert halls including Wigmore Hall, Carnegie Hall, Musikverein Vienna, Philharmonie Cologne, Cité de la Musique Paris, Schubertiade in Schwarzenberg, Concertgebouw Amsterdam and the Philharmonie in Berlin, among many others throughout Europe, North America and Japan.
The quartet has compiled a substantial discography with the Harmonia Mundi label, including to date 9 CD’s, with repertoire ranging from lesser known Spanish composers Arriaga and Toldrá to Viennese classics Mozart, Haydn, Schubert and Brahms, through 20th Century greats Bartok, Kurtag and Ligeti. Following its critically acclaimed performances of Schubert's fifteen string quartets last season, Cuarteto Casals will record the cycle live for DVD in at L'Auditori in Barcelona, where it is quartet in residence.
“A sonic signature entirely its own,” raved the New York Times, describing Cuarteto Casals’ distinctive range of expression. A prize from the prestigious Burletti-Buitoni Trust in London enabled the quartet to purchase a matching set of Classical period bows which it uses for works from Purcell through Schubert, refining its ability to distinguish between diverse musical styles. In addition, the quartet has been profoundly influenced by its work with living composers, especially György Kurtag, and has given the world premiere of quartets written by leading Spanish composers.
In recognition of Cuarteto Casals’ unique position as the first Spanish string quartet with a truly international profile, the quartet has been honored with the Premio Nacional de Música as well as the Premi Ciutat Barcelona. The quartet has accompanied the King of Spain on diplomatic visits and performed on the peerless collection of decorated Stradivarius instruments in the Royal Palace in Madrid.
Cuarteto Casals often appears on television and radio throughout Europe and North America and is Quartet in Residence at the Escola Superior de Musica de Catalunya in Barcelona, where all four members reside and teach.