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Donald Macleod with a complete performance of Autumn from the composer's final oratorio, The Seasons, plus more from Seven Last Words of Our Saviour on the Cross.

Donald Macleod explores Haydn's final oratorio, The Seasons, featuring a complete performance of "Autumn". He also continues his journey through Haydn's unique "Seven Last Words".

Haydn's "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.

Haydn's final oratorio, "The Seasons", composed in 1801, has always been in the shadow of its older brother, "The Creation", completed three years prior. It's tough being perennially compared to a work that's not just regarded as Haydn's masterpiece, but possibly the greatest sacred work of the Classical Era. Yet "The Seasons" is a masterpiece in its own right. Donald Macleod takes up its story, with a complete performance of "Autumn".

The Battle of the Nile
Emma Kirkby (soprano)
Marcia Hadjimarkos (fortepiano)

Autumn (The Seasons) (opening)
Christina Landshamer (soprano), Maximilian Schmitt (tenor), Florian Boesch (baritone)
Collegium Vocale Gent & Orchestre des Champs-Elysées / Philippe Herreweghe

Autumn (The Seasons) (conclusion)
Christina Landshamer (soprano), Maximilian Schmitt (tenor), Florian Boesch (baritone)
Collegium Vocale Gent & Orchestre des Champs-Elysées / Philippe Herreweghe

Sonata 6: It Is Finished (The Seven Last Words of Our Saviour on the Cross, string quartet version)
Cuarteto Casals.

1 hour

Music Played

  • Joseph Haydn

    The Battle of the Nile

    Singer: Emma Kirkby. Performer: Marcia Hadjimarkos.
    • BRILLIANT Classics.
    • 94204.
    • 9.
  • Joseph Haydn

    Autumn (The Seasons) (opening)

    Conductor: Philippe Herreweghe. Singer: Christina Landshamer. Singer: Maximilian Schmitt. Orchestra: Orchestre des Champs‐Élysées.
    • PHI : LPH-013.
    • PHI.
    • 1-5.
  • Joseph Haydn

    Autumn (The Seasons) (conclusion)

    Conductor: Philippe Herreweghe. Singer: Christina Landshamer. Singer: Maximilian Schmitt. Orchestra: Orchestre des Champs‐Élysées.
    • PHI : LPH-013.
    • PHI.
    • 6-11.
  • Joseph Haydn

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

    Ensemble: Casals Quartet.
    • HARMONIA MUNDI : HMC 902162.
    • Harmonia Mundi.
    • 7.

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