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J. Haydn: 'The 7 Last Words' at St. Stephen’s Cathedral

About the Event

Experience classical music like never before in this astonishing performance of Haydn's masterwork at Vienna's remarkable St. Stephen's Cathedral.

Listen to J. Haydn's 'The Seven Last Words of the Savior on the Cross,' an emotional and spiritual masterpiece in St. Stephen's Cathedral that recounts Jesus' final words on the cross in seven meditative movements.

Haydn's Passion cycle still gives modern audiences the impression of experiencing firsthand the seven words recorded in the Gospels. 'If the composer had written directly from the soul of the dying mediator, he would hardly have succeeded in rendering the feelings of the same more truly and solemnly': with these words of praise the Speyerer Musikzeitung Real‐Zeitung entitled Haydn's Seven Last Words in 1788.

This is justified, for a composer who published his work in three different versions naturally wanted to emphasize its significance. Originally commissioned by the Cathedral Chapter in Cadiz, it was written for orchestra, then for string quartet, and finally as a piano reduction, and in 1796 it was transformed into an oratorio with soloists, chorus, and orchestra, for which Gottfried van Swieten probably provided the text version. Although the first three versions were probably just a Baroque‐era marketing ploy by the Viennese publisher of the time, Artaria, to increase the work's circulation, all the musical aspects of Haydn's Seven Last Words leave no doubt as to the work's importance.

Enjoy the oratorio with the Vienna Cathedral Choir and the Vienna Cathedral Orchestra conducted by Cathedral Kapellmeister Markus Landerer and renowned soloists at the place where Haydn himself sang as Kapellmeister for nine years and later married his wife Aloysia, St. Stephen's Cathedral in Vienna.

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