© Zani-Casadio

Dante Vespers
Per lei tremò la terra e ’l ciel s’aperse
Paradiso VII, 48

Quartetto Leonardo
Sara Pastine first violin
Fausto Cigarini second violin
Salvatore Borrelli viola
Lorenzo Cosi cello

Franz Joseph Haydn
Die sieben letzten Worte unseres Erlösers am Kreuze Hob:III/50-56 op. 51
(The Last Seven Words of Our Saviour on the Cross)
the author’s version for string quartet (1787)

In 1786, to celebrate Good Friday, a canon from Cádiz requested Haydn to write a musical meditation on the seven last words of Our Saviour on the cross. These excerpts from the Gospels had already been set to music more than once, but Haydn was the first whotranslated them into pure sound, dropping the vocal intonation. But the famous 1796 orchestral oratorio was just the final step in a long and articulated compositional process: the composer first devised an orchestral version for strings, winds and timpani, then approved a version for solo piano, and finally adapted it as the oratorio proposed by Quartetto Leonardo, recently awarded the prestigious Farulli Prize. The structure is unchanged: seven sonatas preceded by a majestic “Introduction”, and followed by “The Earthquake”, echoing with dissonances like the Golgotha at the time of Christ’s death. Indeed, music can say what words cannot.

The Programme