A musical commentary on the last words of Christ: that was the somewhat unusual task entrusted to Joseph Haydn in 1785. The commission came from a small chapel in Cadiz, a sacred grotto carved out of the rocks.

Haydn found his experience in the chapel profoundly moving. The music he composed in turn made a deep impression on the audience: the seven slow sonatas are simple and almost meditative in nature, but it is their very fragility and intimacy that make the work so gripping.

Actor Johan Leysen collaborated with conductor Hervé Niquet on the texts that he will recite between each movement. Photographer Stef Van Alsenoy brings in another layer with his magical imagery, that will be projected around the orchestra.

spoken in Dutch, subtitled in French and English


Joseph Haydn Die sieben letzten Worte unseres Erlösers am Kreuze

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programme notes

Read more about the history of Haydn's extraordinary Seven Last Words.

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programme book

The program booklet for any preference: to print at home or to read in the concert hall.

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Live-recording by Jordi Savall, in the chapel in Cadiz that commisioned this work

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Basilique Nationale du Sacré-Coeur de Koekelberg / Nationale Basiliek van het Heilig Hart Koekelberg

Location: Parvis de la Basilique Basiliekvoorplein 1 | 1083 Ganshoren

Are you coming by bike, scooter, public transport or car? Here you will find all the information on how to get to the National Basilica of Koekelberg.

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