Heinrich Schütz: The Seven Words of Christ on the Cross, SWV 478 (1645-1657)
Franz Joseph Haydn: The Seven Last Words of Christ on the Cross (1787-1796)
José Saramago: The Seven Words of Man. Recited text
Le Concert des Nations
La Jove Capella Reial de Catalunya
Jordi Savall, conductor
Sílvia Bel and Jordi Boixaderas, reciters
In December, Ensemble O Vos Omnes performed Haydn’s The Seven Last Words of Our Saviour on the Cross in its oratorio version. Now, Jordi Savall presents the work in its original rendering for orchestra and choir, complemented with the version by Heinrich Schütz, one of the leading composers of the early German Baroque period and a clear predecessor of Johann Sebastian Bach. Schütz’s interpretation of Christ’s words on the cross is clearly rooted in Protestantism, without relinquishing the luminosity of Italian –and, in particular, Venetian– music, with a triumphant use of colour that heightens the drama and pathos rather than diminishing it.
To provide an even more enlightened insight, the programme also features the atheist layman’s view of Portuguese writer José Saramago (author of The Gospel According to Jesus Christ) and The Seven Last Words of Man. The concert, programmed for the middle of Easter Week, offers a human insight into Christ’s suffering, without relinquishing the introspection and spiritual importance of music that is capable of stirring the heartstrings of believers and non-believers alike.