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Fitzwilliam String Quartet

Date: Saturday 2 March 2024, 7.30pm
Location: Clare Hall, Herschel Road, Cambridge CB3 9AL
Booking: via Eventbrite

The Fitzwilliam String Quartet is Clare Hall’s quartet-in-residence, and is today one of the longest-established string quartets in the world.


Beethoven Quartet in F major, Op.135

Haydn The Seven Last Words from the Cross, Op.51

About this concert

The Seven Last Words of Our Saviour on the Cross is an orchestral work by Joseph Haydn, commissioned in 1786 for the Good Friday service at Oratorio de la Santa Cueva in Cádiz, Spain. Published in 1787, it subsequently was adapted for string quartet, although the author of the transcription is not known. The seven main meditative sections are based on seven expressions attributed to Jesus during his crucifixion. The seven sections are labelled “sonatas” and are all slow. They are framed by a slow Introduction and a fast “Earthquake” conclusion, for a total of nine movements. In this performance, spoken homilies are interspersed between each movements.

The Seven Last Words will be heard in tandem with Beethoven final quartet. With his E flat quartet (Op.127) of 1824 he had turned his back on every “public” musical form, as if the creating of this work drew him into an inner region of utterly personal communion with quartet texture, but a place from which, two years later, he emerged with Op.135 somehow relieved and exorcised – rather akin to Samson, “Calm of mind, all passion spent”.


£20 General Admission, £15 Clare Hall members, £5 students and children .

Tickets available on Eventbrite.