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The Seven Last Words of Jesus Christ.

Haydn: The Seven Last Words of Jesus Christ Rosamunde Quartet (ECM New Series 1756 289 461780-2)

The full title of Haydn's composition is usually given as The Seven Last Words of Jesus Christ from the Cross. The shorter version above is given on the back cover; the front cover and spine feature the even more truncated (and secularized) The Seven Words. (Note that "words" would be better translated as "sayings" or "utterances.") John Puccio has recently reviewed several recordings of versions arranged for chamber orchestra, and in his reviews he gives a nice overview of the piece and Haydn's fondness for it. As you can see from the header above, this arrangement is for string quartet. The Rosamunde Quartet plays the piece with dignity and respect. Perhaps some listeners would crave more overt drama, but I find their reflective approach most enjoyable. The sound quality is warm and comfortable, and the liner notes are interesting and informative. This is a truly excellent release.
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Publication:Sensible Sound
Article Type:Sound Recording Review
Date:Aug 1, 2001
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