One of the goals of the chamber ensemble Camerata del Sol is to explore music that is not performed often. With that in mind, the local group chose Joseph Haydn’s monumental but rarely-heard “The Seven Last Words of Christ” for a pair of concerts in Las Cruces this month.
“I am a big, huge fan of Haydn’s music, and this is no exception,” said Camerata’s artistic director Daniel Vega-Albela, who first played the work as a student in New York in the late 1980s. “I was not familiar with the piece [then], and I played it, and I loved it.” Vega-Albela came to the KRWG studios with NMSU vocal professor and mezzo-soprano Sarah Daughtrey for this interview with Intermezzo host Leora Zeitlin.
“The Seven Last Words of Christ” was originally written just for orchestra, and Haydn himself arranged a string quartet version soon after. For their concert, Camerata del Sol will feature an edition from 2000 that is arranged for string quartet and vocal soloist. Daughtrey and soprano Ida Holguin will divide the vocal parts between them.
The concert also includes the late Romantic-era piece, “Chanson Perpetuelle,” by French composer Ernest Chausson, a particular favorite of Daughtrey’s. “It’s one of those intensely tragic, romantic tales of a woman who falls in love, and when she gets rejected, she throws herself into a pond,” Daughtrey said, adding, “I have loved this piece since I was an undergraduate and I’ve always wanted to perform it.”
The concerts are Friday, April 5 at 7:30 p.m. at the Atkinson Recital Hall, and on Palm Sunday, April 14 at 3 p.m. at the Newman Center. Listen here for more about the composers, the music, and the performers:
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