Haydn : The Seven Last Words - The Lindsays - 1993.
APE + CUE | TT: 70',32 | Covers | Booklet | 274 MB
I have avoided this music ever since I heard a poor performance, complete with several sermons, as a small boy. From that time, Haydn's Seven Last Words has always been associated in my mind with the longest day of my life. No longer shall I hold this view since this performance by the Lindsay Quartet is magical and it confirms them as something a bit more special than just our finest British quartet. There are, I suspect, few quartets who could sustain these seven slow movements, each lasting about ten minutes, and yet give them such variety of intensity, colour and mood. Come to think of it, with the wisdom of middle-age, I can now see that Haydn revealed himself as a visionary composer in the way he set about creating these seven miniature tone-poems for string quartet. The work is divided into nine sections comprising the seven slow movements each describing one of the final utterances of Christ on the Cross together with a slow introduction and a final Presto con tutta la forza which depicts the earthquake which occurred when ''the veil of the temple was rent in twain''. I suspect that some people may not find it a disc to be listened to from beginning to end; they may need substantial breaks between one movement and the next. In that case, they may end up with a shortened list of favourite movements: in my case, the wonderful view of Paradise in No. 2, the portrait of Christ's Mother in No. 3 and of the terrible energy of the earthquake in the final section. Highly recommended.'