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Shakespeare's Globe

The Seven Last Words 

11 January


The Chilingirian Quartet

Tenebrae Consort 

  • Theatre/2014/SWP/Seven Last Words

Please note: this event has now closed.

The Chilingirian Quartet’s second concert mixes music written nearly 200 years apart to create a theatrical sequence around one of the most dramatic moments in the story of Jesus Christ, the events of Maundy Thursday and Good Friday. This unique programme will offer a rare chance to hear alternating movements between Haydn’s and Gesualdo’s settings of The Seven Last Words in the atmospheric setting of the Sam Wanamaker Playhouse.

The award-winning chamber choir, Tenebrae Consort is known for their instinctive ensemble skills and directed by Nigel Short, formerly of The King’s Singers. Focusing on the repertoire originally written for consort performance, particularly early music, Tenebrae Consort aims to shed new interpretative light on works through the combination of both passion and precision, creating an intimate and unique concert experience.

Joseph Haydn (1732-1809) was the grand master of the classical style when he composed The Seven Last Words in 1785 for Cadiz Cathedral. In its arrangement for string quartet it remains a unique and rarely heard part of the repertoire for that ensemble. Carlo Gesualdo (1562-1613) may have been one of the most turbulent figures in the history of music, yet he wrote sacred music of almost unsurpassed, haunting beauty. Uniting both works is an emotional charge and their composers’ instinctive grasp of the human need for spiritual enlightenment. 

For over four decades the Chilingirian String Quartet has thrilled critics and audiences around the world with its vibrant, virtuosic performances of classical and contemporary chamber music. Theirs is a sound that is both powerful and precise; richly interpretive and yet always true to the composer’s vision.

‘The performances of the Chilingirian Quartet are masterly’
The Guardian


Hadyn String Quartets, op. 51, Seven Last Words of Christ

Gesualdo Tenebrae Responsories for Maundy Thursday, op. 15a (1611)