At the end of the 18th century, the town of Cádiz in southern Spain provided the backdrop for a Passion to mark Christ’s hour of death; its focal point was the reading and interpretation of Christ’s last words. Haydn was commissioned to write short meditative music to be played alternately with the readings. Haydn composed a work for orchestra. Due to its success, the publisher commissioned Haydn to make an arrangement for string quartet. As the wind instruments double the strings for the most part, only a few changes had to be made to the string parts.
Here is the Henle Urtext Edition of Joseph Haydn's The Seven Last Words of Christ arranged for String Quartet, based upon on the musical text of the Haydn Complete Edition.