Gustavus to Present Haydn’s Seven Last Words in Christ Chapel

Posted on March 23rd, 2013 by

As a special celebration for the final week of Lent, the Department of Music and the Office of the Chaplain will collaborate to present Franz Joseph Haydn’s Seven Last Words of Christ on the Cross for String Quartet, Op. 51 in Christ Chapel. This special Lenten presentation of scripture and music will include Chaplain Rachel Larson as the reader and performed by Justin Knoepfel, viola and Sharon Mautner-Rodgers, ‘cello, from the Department of Music, and two alumni violinists, Colin McGuire ’06 and Mark Wamma ’09. The Lenten drama begins at 7:30 p.m. on Wednesday, March 27 in Christ Chapel. It is open to the pubic.

Haydn’s Op. 51 is one of the pinnacles of string quartet writing of the time….not for any technical virtuosity, but rather it takes the listener on a journey through seven movements, reflecting on the nature and character of each word.  Haydn had expressed what difficulty it was for him in composing seven movements (each being seven minutes long or more), all movement being tremendously slow, but yet lyrical and not exhausting to the listener.  He even finishes the work the a terremoto, an earthquake!

As the event organizer, Justin Knoepfel writes, “This fits right in with the season of Lent, a time of reflection and preparation.  I can’t think of a better way to spend time reflecting on Christ’s words than listening to such a masterpiece, interspersed with the Scripture readings. I’ve wanted to present this work for a long time and I think it’s special that we’ll have two alums playing the violin parts along with two faculty members.”

Franz Joseph Haydn’s Seven Last Words of Christ on the Cross for String Quartet, Op. 51 will be presented in Christ Chapel, beginning at 7:30 p.m., Wednesday, March 27. The community and the public are warmly invited to attend.


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