Music and Vision homepage Music and Vision - read us daily on the net

 

<<  -- 3 --  Robert Anderson    POPULAR ESTEEM

-------------------------------

It was perhaps inevitable that the Seven Last Words should eventually become an oratorio. On his second journey to England in 1794 Haydn heard an attempt at adding choral parts to the work by Joseph Friebert of Passau. He knew he could do better himself. He approached Baron van Swieten for revision of the words, which he used to provide parts for soloists and chorus. Before each sonata the relevant 'word' was to be declaimed in simple block harmony. Haydn made other changes. He added clarinets and trombones to the original orchestra; he omitted all repeats and he composed a second 'Introduzione' for wind alone after Sonata 4.

Haydn - Die Sieben Letzte Worte. Copyright (c) 2000 Opus 111

The result is a greatly increased expressive range, with text that nowhere jars against the 'word' that follows. Sonata 2, for instance, shows Haydn at his most sensitive [listen -- track 3, 1:24-2:00]. The new 'Introduzione' completely recaptures the mood of ten years earlier and demonstrates Haydn in full command of his additional woodwind and trombones [listen -- track 6, 0:30-1:30]. Chorus and orchestra under Christoph Spering respond splendidly, as do the soloists, to all Haydn's demands. Perhaps nothing is more moving in this final version of the work than the lovely textures displayed in Sonata 5, 'I thirst' [listen -- track 7, 0:40-1:50].

 

Copyright © 18 November 2000 Robert Anderson, London, UK

 

-------

CD INFORMATION - CLAVES CD 50-2002 (QUARTET)

PURCHASE CD 50-2002 (QUARTET) FROM CROTCHET

CD INFORMATION - OPUS 111 OPS 30-284 (ORATORIO)

PURCHASE OPS 30-284 (ORATORIO) FROM AMAZON

PURCHASE OPS 30-284 (ORATORIO) FROM CROTCHET

 

 << Music & Vision home           Howard Hanson >>

Download a free realplayer 

To listen to the aural illustrations in this review,
you may need to download RealNetworks' realplayer 8.