Texte paru dans: / Appeared in:
The audio portion of this DVD
was favorably reviewed earlier (31:5); even the artwork on the package is
the same. The video portion recreates the concert given in the Santa Cueva
in Cadiz, the site for which the music was commissioned and the recording
venue for the audio as well. The notes rightly call it a historic
production, the first recording of the original score made in the site where
it was first performed. It is Savall’s second version, repeating the
recitation of the relevant Gospel passages before each movement, passages
long enough to put the familiar “words” (sentences, actually) in context.
There is more here. The CD had
the Gospel passages on the recording, and there were two meditations printed
in the booklet. One was called “the seven last words of Christ on the Cross”
by Ramon Panikkar, an author of several spiritual books. The other was
called “the seven words of man” by José Saramago, the 1998 winner of the
Nobel Prize for literature and author of The Gospel according to Jesus
Christ (Harcourt Brace, 1994). The latter meditation is called a humanistic
approach, a meditation by Jesus in his human nature. On the DVD we can hear
the concert alone, including the Gospel passages; either of the two sets of
meditations read by their authors; or the concert with either set of
meditations inserted in place of the Gospel passages (by means of clever
programming of the disc’s various tracks). In addition, there are two
interviews (monologs, actually) by Savall and by Father Guillermo D.
Leonsegui (I could not access the latter interview).
Since Savall’s performance is so fine to begin with, this DVD is a richer presentation of the Haydn masterpiece than any other recording. The camera departs from the Santa Cueva on occasion to show a typical Spanish Good Friday procession such as I witnessed in Cuenca a few years ago. Anyone who cherishes this work will want to have this, even if one already has several superb recordings of the music in its string quartet or choral formats. This uniquely captures the spiritual meaning of the music.