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A Final Symphony

Donald Macleod explores Haydn's final symphony, No 104, and continues through The Seven Last Words of Our Saviour on the Cross.

Donald Macleod explores Haydn's last symphony, No.104, and continues his journey through Haydn's unique instrumental oratorio, "Seven Last Words".

Haydn's "The Seven Last Words of Our Saviour on the Cross" is one of the most remarkable and original musical works of the entire 18th century. Conceived as an instrumental oratorio for Cadiz in Spain, it vividly depicts the suffering of Christ in sound alone - a truly radical idea for the time. This week, Donald Macleod explores this little-known and beautiful work, as well as Haydn's own "last words" - his last compositions in a variety of genres: last opera, last symphony, last piano sonata, and many more, covering the period from 1786 to his death in 1809.

Today Donald Macleod explores the story of Haydn's final symphony, No.104, composed in London in 1795, and introduces a real rarity - one of only two fragments of what would have been his only English oratorio, with words composed by his friend (and later convicted criminal) the Earl of Abingdon. He also continues his exploration of Haydn's unique and remarkable "Seven Last Words of Our Saviour on the Cross".

Sonata 3: Woman, Behold Your Son. Son, Behold Your Mother (The Seven Last Words of Our Saviour on the Cross, piano version)
Jeno Jando (piano)

Symphony No.104 in D major "London"
Concertgebouw Orchestra / Colin Davis

"Thy Great Endeavours" (Mare Clausum, Hob XXIVa:9)
Tölzer Knabenchor
Tafelmusik / Bruno Weil

Sonata 5: My God, Why Hast Thou Forsaken Me - (The Seven Last Words of Our Saviour on the Cross, piano version)
Alex Lubimov (tangent piano).

1 hour

Music Played

  • Joseph Haydn

    The Seven Last Words of Our Saviour on the Cross - Sonata 3

    Performer: Jenő Jandó.
    • NAXOS: 8573313.
    • NAXOS.
    • 4.
  • Joseph Haydn

    Symphony no. 104 in D Major (London)

    Orchestra: Concertgebouw Chamber Orchestra. Conductor: Colin Davis.
    • Philips 4647072.
    • Philips.
    • 9.
  • Joseph Haydn

    …Thy Great Endeavours

    Choir: Tölzer Knabenchor. Orchestra: Tafelmusik. Conductor: Bruno Weil.
    • Sony Classical ?SK 66260.
    • Sony Classical.
    • 8.
  • Joseph Haydn

    The Seven Last Words of Our Saviour on the Cross - Sonata 5

    Performer: Alexei Lubimov.
    • ZIGZAG ZZT341.
    • ZIGZAG.
    • 5.

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