Haydn’s Seven Last Words: Crucifixion of the Earth
The Lafayette String Quartet is joined by renowned Canadian poets Robert Bringhurst and Jan Zwicky in an updated version of this classic work for string quartet.
In its original version, Christ’s seven last utterances served as the basis for seven sermons alternating with Haydn’s deeply introspective music. Bringhurst and Zwicky have created new texts* that extend the theme of crucifixion to focus on environmental destruction: what humans have done to the Earth, rather than on what humans have done to the divine in human form. The challenge has been to respond to the sweetness and generosity in Haydn’s music, as well as to the terror, grief, and anger that many of us feel.
*These texts were first written for a performance produced and initiated by Early Music Vancouver.