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Cover: The seven last Words of our Saviour on the Cross


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Direct 2 track stereo digital recording




Joseph Haydn (1732-1809)

The Orchestra version
with lyrics by Prof. Walter Jens

Bayerische Kammerphilharmonie
Conductor: Alan Buribayev

A concert recording from the minster
at abbey Maulbronn, June 10th 2004,
produced by Josef-Stefan Kindler
and Andreas Otto Grimminger

1 CD, DDD, KuK 97
ISBN 3-930643-97-9, EAN 42 6000591 029 2
Copyright by K&K Verlagsanstalt anno 2006


To meditate, ponder, and reflect: verbs such as these are becoming increasingly significant in a fast-moving society such as ours. One usually associates with ‘meditation’ a kind of celestial relaxation music with an accordingly notional incitation to self-discovery. But what happens when a great orchestral work by Haydn, created to animate reflection on "The Seven Last Words of Our Saviour on the Cross," is heard in an authentic setting such as the "Maulbronn Monastery"? When the performance becomes the setting for a contemporary discussion, based on those words, by one of the great orators of our time? ‘Meditation’ then takes on quite another meaning, one entirely in keeping with the purpose of the composition and its original occasion.

For in 1785, Joseph Haydn was commissioned by a canon in Cadiz to write a kind of sacred instrumental music for Holy Week, a work illustrating the "seven last words of the Lord". The composer agreed and proceeded to compose "Sieben Sonaten mit einer Einleitung und am Schluß ein Erdbeben" (Seven Sonatas with an Introduction and an Earthquake at the End) for large orchestra, which was then performed, probably on Good Friday in 1786, in the subterranean Church of Santa Cueva. Some 15 years later, Haydn described how the performance took place:

"In those days it was the custom during Lent each year to perform an oratorio in the main church in Cadiz. The following preparations contributed in no small way to enhancing its effect: The walls, windows and pillars of the church were draped in black, with but a single lamp hanging in the middle to shed light into the darkness. At noon all the doors were shut. Then the music began. After a suitable prelude, the bishop mounted the pulpit, pronounced one of the seven Words and made some appropriate observations. The bishop mounted and left the pulpit a second time, a third time, and so on, and at the end of each oration the orchestra would start up again. My composition had to fit this description."

Haydn resorted to a trick commonly employed in the 18th century: an instrumental composition would be written to follow the thread of an imagined text, dialogue, perhaps even an entire drama, whose contents the music would "speak." Music thus became a "narrative" art, the contents of which were accordingly quite concrete. Walter Jens takes up this tradition with his modern observations on the words of Jesus, bringing Haydn’s "observations" into the intellectual present.

The seven heads in the title illustration symbolise the engagement of the human mind with the sublime words and the present ongoing decay of those words – which Jens (so it appeared to the artist) explains in his contemporary interpretation and seeks to impress upon the consciousness of his listeners –

"for the Creation, as things stand today,
can also be reclaimed…"

The texts and lyrics:
~ as website ~



Walter Jens
born in 1923 in Hamburg, studied Classical Philology and Germanic studies; he attained his doctorate in Freiburg 1944 and habilated as professor in Tübingen in 1949. Up until his retirement from the professorship in 1988 he held there the only chair for General Rhetoric in the whole of Germany. From 1989 to 1997 he was president of the Academy of Arts in Berlin. He was awarded honorary doctorates by the universities of Athens, Augsburg, Jena and Stockholm and numerous awards for his publications, which now encompass 40 works. Walter Jens is the modern incorporation of that now rare breed, poeta doctus. In addition to his main fields of rhetoric, theology and literature he makes periodic excursions into the fiels of science, politics and essays. Nonetheless he still describes himself as having „slim talent". He no longer writes novels or dramas as he did at the beginning of his career, nor does he commentate as „Momos", the TV critic of the Zeit. In one‘s old age, Jens maintains, one should „try to hang around where one at the least has a hope of being ahead". That is why he concentrates his work now on speeches, essays and imaginary dialogues between great minds as Lessing and Heine.

Bayerische Kammerphilharmonie
From its beginning in 1990, the aim of the members of the „Bayerische Kammerphilharmonie" was to create and perform their own program concepts at the highest possible level. Two years later, the first CD recording in Co-production with the Bavarian Broadcasting Company was released and won several awards from the international music press. Since 1994 the ensemble is orchestra in residence of the festival „L‘été musical dans la valée du lot" in France. In 1996, the ensemble received the „Prix Européenes" of the European Economy culture fund. Concerts all over the world, invitations to festivals, CD productions and the collaboration with renowned conductors and soloists such as Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau, Mischa Maisky, Mario Venzago, Michel Plasson, Règis Pasquier, Xavier Phillips and Mstislaw Rostropowitsch are testament to the high quality of the orchestra. CD recordings have been released with companies such as Deutsche Grammophon, EMI, Atlantis Art (Switzerland), Koch Schwann, Arte Nova, cpo and St.Louis Records/USA. Amongst these are the world premiere recordings of the concertos for one and two horns by Antonio Rosetti, were given five stars by the BBC Music Magazine and were awarded three times ten points at „Klassik heute". Besides their own concert series in Augsburg/Germany the orchestra played only this year with Chick Corea, Bobby Mc Ferrin, Martha Argerich, and at such renowned festivals like the Rheingau Musik Festival, the festival in Mecklenburg Vorpommern and the Münchner Klaviersommer. The Orchestra would like to thank the long-standing main sponsor Dr. Hannjörg Hereth and his Fazienda Ipiranga in Brasil whose generous support has enabled the orchestra‘s work to continue over the years.
More about the orchestra at www.kammerphilharmonie.de

Alan Buribayev
is an exceptionally gifted young conductor. Born in Kazakhstan to musician parents, he has a mature knowledge and a deep understanding of a wide repertoire. He has already conducted major symphonic works by Brahms (including all four symphonies), Elgar, Haydn, Mozart, Mendelssohn, Rachmaninov, Shostakovich, Stravinsky and Tchaikovsky (all six symphonies). His infectious enthusiasm has endeared him to many orchestras, most of whom have invited him back and these include London Philharmonic, Danish National Symphony, Guiseppe Verdi Orchestra Milan, Dresden Philharmonic, the Gothenburg Symphony, Melbourne Symphony and Hungarian National Philharmonic. As an opera conductor, he has conducted Tchaikovsky Queen of Spades at Lyon Opera. At the start of the season 2004 he took up his position as Music Director of the Meiningen Theatre, where he is conducting new productions of Offenbach, The Tales of Hoffmann and Mozart Idomeneo.



Joseph Haydn (1732 - 1809)


1. Introduktion
Maestoso ed Adagio

2. The first word:
"Father forgive them, for they don‘t know what they do."

3. Largo

4. The second word:
"Verily, I say unto thee, today shalt thou be with me in paradise."

5. Grave e cantabile

6. The third word:
"Woman, behold thy son! Behold thy mother!"

7. Grave

8. The fourth word:
"Eli, eli, lama sabachthani?"
"My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?"

9. Largo

10. The fifth word:
"I thirst."

11. Adagio

12. The sixth word:
"It is finished."

13. Lento

14. The seventh word:
"Father into thy hands I comment my spirit."

15. Largo

16. Terremoto
(The Earthquake)
Presto con tutta la forza


~ The websites of the Bavarian Chamber Philharmonic ~
More information about the orchestra, current projects and concert dates