The Seven Last Words

Haydn: The Seven Last Words For a number of reasons, Haydn’s composition is a fascinating work. 1. All of the other compositions written on the Seven Last Words (before and after Haydn), as well as all of the settings of the Passion which include the Seven Last Words, are vocal settings, and the words are spoken by ‘characters’. Haydn’s version is purely instrumental; the music is the only speaker. 2. There had never been a commission as difficult as the one which Haydn received from Cadix, i.e. the composition of seven slow pieces corresponding to each of the Seven Last Words. This was apparently a considerable challenge for Haydn, but the result was stunning. But Haydn actually took it one step further, adding an eighth slow movement, the ‘Introduzione’…..