Following on from their wonderful Tolstoy and Music: Kreutzer Sonata event last month, the Aspect Foundation for Music and Arts returns to the 20th Century Theatre on Wednesday 26th March to present another in their Words of Music series of concerts – Seven Last Words by Joseph Haydn, performed by the Endellion String Quartet, together with the London premiere of poems by Ruth Padel, Seven Words and an Earthquake.
On Good Friday 1787 in the Baroque cathedral of Cádiz, the music of Haydn was performed in ten-minute intervals between the bishop’s meditations on the Seven Last Words of Christ on the Cross. Haydn wrote his music as a personal response to each Word, the utterances made by the dying Christ.
The Words of Music concert next week will see Haydn’s music performed in between poems written and read by author and multi-award winning poet Ruth Padel. Each of her haunting poems ends in the Word, to which the next piece of music responds.
The Endellion String Quartet celebrates its 35th year in the 2013-2014 season, having embarked on regular tours of North and South America as well as performing concerts in Australasia, the Far East, the Middle East, South Africa and every Western European country during its long career. In this country, the Quartet has also appeared in almost all the major series and festivals, including appearing at the Proms, and at their own series at the Southbank Centre and Wigmore Hall. In 1996, the Quartet was the winner of the Royal Philharmonic Society Award for Best Chamber Ensemble.
Ruth Padel is a poet, critic and novelist, and has published eight poetry collections, a novel and eight non-fiction works, including three of poetry criticism. A Fellow in Poetry at King’s College, London, she has been awarded First Prize in the UK National Poetry Competition, the Cholmondeley Award from The Society of Authors, the Arts Council of England Writers’ Award and the British Council Darwin Now Research Award for her novel Where the Serpent Lives. Ruth has written numerous essays, including articles on opera and on sixteenth-century madrigals for the London Review of Books.
Having attended the last Words of Music concert in February, I can personally recommend these enjoyable events! The mix of music and spoken word is always well presented with each segment complementing the other; there’s also much to learn from the evening whether or not you have a deep knowledge of the subject matter. I’d highly recommend them!
Tickets for next week’s event cost £25 which includes wine and refreshments. Tickets can be booked online at www.aspectfoundation.net or by calling the box office on 07799 090 826.
Seven Last Words and Seven Words and an Earthquake
7.30pm (doors 7pm), Wednesday, 26th March 2014
20th Century Theatre
291 Westbourne Grove