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CONTACT: Memorial Baptist Church


Joseph Haydn’s “Seven Last Words of Christ”

arranged for four singers and string quartet


Good Friday, March 29, 2024 at 7:00 pm

Memorial Baptist Church, 97 South Pleasant St., Middlebury, VT


Joseph Haydn’s hour-long work sets each of the last sayings of Jesus to music. Moments of great
anguish, beauty, grief, and love emerge through seven slow movements, framed by an introduction
and a final terrible movement titled “The Earthquake.” The concert will be sung in German with English translation provided.


Since 1991, a small group of Vermont musicians has carried on a tradition of offering this piece, which commemorates Jesus’ final hours.


Haydn composed the work in 1785, and its initial popularity as a string quartet led him to write subsequent versions for piano, chorus and orchestra. In 1990 the Juilliard String Quarter and four vocal soloists from the Metropolitan Opera recorded a pared-down version for just eight performers. After hearing it, West Glover violinist Bert Francke decided to offer the Juilliard version to area churches during Holy Week. 2024 marks the 34th year Vermont audiences have been treated to this powerful and tender work, after a pandemic hiatus.


This year The Octet will offer two performances in Vermont of Haydn’s Seven Last Words of Christ:

Wednesday March 27 at 7:00 pm at the Berlin Congregational Church, and on Good Friday, March 29 at 7:00pm, at Memorial Baptist Church in Middlebury.


This concert is free. Donations will be accepted for a local charity TBA.


Octet Singers: Martha Peck, Linda Radkte, Brian Clancy, and Jose Schmidt

String Quartet: Susan Janes, Patricia Fitzgerald, Jody Racht, and Melissa Perley




Haydn concert 2-29-24.jpg
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