Easter concert to raise funds for war victims

Omiros Yavroumis. Neilson Hays Library

To mark the resurrection of Jesus from the dead, Neilson Hays Library is holding "The Easter Concert" to raise funds for humanitarian relief for victims of war, on Friday and Saturday at 7.30pm.

The special benefit concert will feature a string performance of The Seven Last Words Of Christ, an orchestral work composed by Joseph Haydn, which was later adapted as a string quartet by Haydn himself.

The piece comprises an introduction, seven slow movements corresponding to the seven words, and a musical depiction of the earthquake following the crucifixion.

It exists in several versions -- for orchestra, for orchestra and chorus, and for string quartet by Haydn, as well as a reduction for piano which was approved by the composer.

Aibek Ashirmatov. photos courtesy of Neilson Hays Library

Of these, the arrangement for the string quartet has a particular purity and intimacy in which the flexibility and subtlety of the string instruments' sound serve to enhance the vulnerability of the expression.

The music is often stark, barren and painful, but always overwhelmingly human. Strength and frailty, grief and acceptance, bewilderment and understanding are all expressed with the greatest economy of means and intensity of gesture.

The work serves as a meditation on the gravity of tragedy, as well as on the possibilities of hope and redemption. It is music of great weight as well as great transparency, coupling profound directness of effect with ennobling humility.

Rhys Watkins and Rowena Calvert. Neilson Hays Library

Set to render the piece on the two evenings will be renowned string players -- Rhys Watkins (violin), Omiros Yavroumis (violin), Aibek Ashirmatov (viola) and Rowena Calvert (cello).

Tickets cost 950 baht (850 baht for members). Seats are limited to respect social distancing rules and proof of a negative ATK test is required. Tickets will not be available for purchase at the door.

Email info@neilsonhayslibrary.org or call 02-233-1731.

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