In 1786 Haydn was commissioned by the cathedral canon in Cádiz to write meditative music, which was to be performed alternately with readings of Christ's last words on Good Friday. Already in the spring of 1787 the orchestral version and an arrangement for string quartet (HN851 and HN9771) were published by Artaria in Vienna. Barely ten years later he also made an oratorio version, which Henle has published as a study score (HN9830). Although Haydn did not undertake the version for "Clavicembalo o Forte Piano" (harpsichord or fortepiano) himself, he received the proofs and praised the piano reduction as being "very good and conceived with particular care". In addition, this expressive work is also extremely well-suited to being performed on the organ.