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Fitzwilliam String Quartet - Haydn The Seven Last Words - Scotland on Sunday

02 April 2001
Scotland on Sunday
Christopher Bowen

There are four different versions of Haydn's The Seven Last Words of Our Saviour on the Cross - the original orchestral interludes, a version for string quartet, a solo piano reduction and a full blown oratorio. The setting performed on this disc by the Fitzwilliam Quartet cannot compete with the grandeur of the fuller versions, but this distillation of Haydn's remarkable composition provides a fascinating insight.

The playing (on period instruments) is exemplary, moving from the dramatic impact of the 'Introduzione', through the tender expressions of the opening Sonatas, and builds surprisingly effectively, even if (given the paucity of players) the earth doesn't quite move as it should in the climactic 'Il Terremoto'.

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