Holy Name Cathedral is an architectural landmark in the heart of downtown Chicago. On Friday, February 17, the church opened its doors to another Chicago treasure, the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. CSO music director Riccardo Muti and members of the orchestra presented a sold-out performance of Franz Joseph Haydn’s The Seven Last Words of Our Savior on the Cross.
As the title suggests, the work focuses on the Biblical account of Christ’s crucifixion. After an introduction, the piece explores each of Christ’s seven last words on the cross through seven sonatas. The final movement is a vivid musical depiction of the earthquake mentioned in Saint Matthew 27:51.
Cardinal Blase J. Cupich, Archbishop of Chicago, joined Muti and members of the CSO for Friday’s performance. Cardinal Cupich narrated the titles of each movement in Latin and English, and he also provided sacred reflections of the music.
The performance at Holy Name marks another of the CSO’s ongoing efforts to engage with audiences by going out into the community. Earlier this season, Muti and the CSO presented a program at the Apostolic Church of God on Chicago’s South Side.