Please join us for a musical meditation on the Seven Last Words of Christ on Maundy Thursday evening, April 18 at 7 pm to be held at the First Congregational Church of Melrose. This classical musical worship service will be led by Reverend Dominic Taranowski and co-officiated by Reverend Beth Horne of the Melrose Highlands Congregational Church.
Joseph Haydn was commissioned in 1786 by the bishop of Cadiz in Spain to create a work for orchestra depicting the Seven Last Words of Our Savior on the Cross. It was originally performed at a Good Friday Service. The original performance took a full afternoon, as the bishop spoke each word and delivered a discourse thereon in between each movement of Haydn’s music. Some years later, other versions of the piece were created by Haydn, one with chorus, and another one just for string quartet – the form which will be presented on this occasion.
There is one introductory movement, followed by seven movements, each one expounding upon each “word” of Christ. The final movement depicts the Earthquake that followed the death of Christ on the cross. It is usually surprising to most modern audiences just how picturesque and symbolic the music actually is. The Latin form of each word is clearly outlined in the melody of each movement. Then the music further portrays the emotions very explicit to each word spoken by our Lord. It is a very rich and expressive experience that never fails to move all generations of worshippers.
Jamie Buswell and his wife, Carol Ou have performed this music quite a number of times in the past quarter century in the Boston area at various churches. On this occasion they will be joined by two former students and colleagues of Mr. Buswell: Amy Galluzzo and Tom Mayo.