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Fitzwilliam String Quartet - Haydn The Seven Last Words - The Scotsman

02 April 2001
The Scotsman
Kenneth Walton

Haydn created his string quartet version of The Seven Last Words from the original orchestral version. Like the later fortepiano adaptation, the effect is predictably thinner and less pungent - a problem he was to redress in his final choral version. Yet the Fitzwilliam String Quartet offers playing that is pure, sensitive and, where called for, gorgeously passionate - all within carefully observed stylistic bounds and despite the absence of the spoken text which would have traditionally interspersed the various meditative musical commentaries.

Linn makes up for that omission by including Scottish artist Anne Devine's paintings, created a few years ago in response to James MacMillan's music of the same title. Well packaged.

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