A Truly Special Easter Event

On Holy Thursday, the Galway ConTempo Quartet performed Haydn's harrowing The Seven Last Words of Christ. With narration by Helen Gregg of Mark Strand's Poem After the Seven Last Words, a truly special evening was born.

Originally commissioned in the 1780s by the Archbishop of Cadiz to punctuate his own sermons on the Words as part of an Easter service, the work was first performed on Good Friday, 1787, as part of the midday service.The cathedral’s walls, windows and columns were clothed in black; the only light came from a single central lamp; and the huge cathedral doors were locked at the start of the service.

For this performance, the Archbishop’s sermons was replaced by Pulitzer-prize winning Mark Strand’s Poem After the Seven Last Words.This series of seven meditations was delivered by Galway-based actress and performer Helen Gregg with Haydn’s exquisite music following each sermon performed by the Galway ConTempo Quartet.

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