BEDFORD, N.Y. – Bedford will be the site of a special and unique music opportunity when Haydn’s “The Seven Last Words of Christ” will be performed by world renowned organist Anthony Newman and choristers at noon on Good Friday at St. Matthew’s Church.
In 1783, the Rev. Don José Sáenz de Santa María, a priest from the Oratorio de la Santa Cueva (Holy Cave Oratory) in Cádiz, Spain, commissioned Haydn for a series of musical settings of what are known now as the "Seven Last Words of Christ."
Two of the versions for this piece, “String Quartet” and “Choral,” have become beloved pieces. Haydn considered “The Seven Last Words Of Christ” to be one of his greatest works, and thought it superior to either of his later oratorios, “The Creation” and “The Seasons.” It was very popular during his lifetime, and it was the oratorio version of this work that he conducted in his last concert appearance on Dec. 26, 1803.
Newman has been called one of the greatest keyboard talents of our time. He has performed in major cities around the world and recorded more than 200 CDs. Time magazine called him “The High Priest of Bach” for his interpretation of Bach’s organ and choral music.
St. Matthew’s Church is at 382 Cantitoe St., Bedford.
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