String Quartet parts from Joseph Haydn's Die sieben letze Worte unseres Erlösers am Kreuze Op.51. Seven Last Words. Edited by Jacobsen.
Published by Edition Peters.
In 1785 or '86, Haydn received a commission from the Canon of Cadiz for what would serve essentially as 'incidental' music for a Good Friday service (akin to the one centering upon The Stations of the Cross, although there are twelve of those) in which the celebrant recites in turn each of Christ's utterances on the way to Calvary, then gives a 'reflection' thereupon, followed by music to accompany a brief interval of silent congregational prayer. To this Haydn added an introductory movement, and a conclusion depicting the earthquake that followed the passing of Jesus. The structure of the work, then, is: Introduction -- 'Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.' -- Sonata 1 -- 'Verily I say unto thee, today shalt thou be with me in Paradise.' -- Sonata 2 -- 'Woman, behold thy son.' -- Sonata 3 -- 'My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?' -- Sonata 4 -- 'I thirst.' -- Sonata 5 -- 'It is finished.' -- Sonata 6 -- 'Father, into thy hands I commend my spirit.' -- Sonata 7 -- Conclusion (Earthquake)