Seven Last Words of Christ: The Alexander String Quartet
April 19, 2019
The celebrated ensemble will perform Joseph Haydn’s Seven Last Words of Christ, the composer’s reflection on Good Friday, with verse readings by Dean Emeritus Alan Jones.
The Alexander String Quartet was formed in New York City in 1981 and captured international attention as the first American quartet to win the London International String Quartet Competition in 1985. They have performed in the major music capitals of five continents, securing its standing among the world’s premiere ensembles and are a major artistic presence in their home base of San Francisco, where they are Directors of the Morrison Chamber Music Center at SFSU and serve as Ensemble-in-Residence with San Francisco Performances.
The Seven Last Words of Christ was commissioned in 1786 for the Good Friday service at Oratorio de la Santa Cueva (Holy Cave Oratory) in Cádiz, Spain. The seven main meditative sections—labelled “sonatas” and all slow—are framed by a slow Introduction and a fast “Earthquake” conclusion, for a total of nine movements.