Experimental feature

Listen to this article

00:00
00:00
Experimental feature

Haydn’s most demanding piece of quartet music, known as Seven Last Words of Our Saviour on the Cross, comprises a solemn introduction, a sequence of seven Adagios, then an earthquake – a single concluding Presto. Each time the hour-long piece is played, the challenge is to sustain intensity and concentration across so much slow music before the final outburst.

This performance combines devotional gravity, a refined sense of drama and beautifully precise and pure playing. Such qualities are to be treasured in this elusive but immensely rewarding work which, even for those without Christian affiliation, trains the mind away from worldly cares.

Haydn

Die sieben letzten Worte unseres Erlösers am Kreuze

Cuarteto Casals

(Harmonia Mundi)

Copyright The Financial Times Limited 2018. All rights reserved.