Haydn's oratorio is a hymn to the world around us - weather, wildlife, work and fellowship - during the course, as the name suggests, of the passing year. It took Haydn two years to compose, in a state of frail health - which makes the sheer elegance and beauty of the score even more remarkable.
Conductor Paul McCreesh's recent recording of Haydn's other late oratorio, The Creation, was award-winning, and some of those same forces, including his superb period ensemble the Gabrieli Consort and Allan Clayton, a deeply expressive tenor, are reassembled here to perform a work which draws on the lifelong experience of a composer of genius.
'The resonance, lilt and shine McCreesh's players brought to the music was a delight.' The Independent
'I am thrilled to be able to bring The Seasons to the Barbican to kick off our 30th anniversary year, a birthday that I have just learnt we share with the Barbican! We fondly remember our Creation performance in 2006, and, in my opinion, The Seasons is at least as great a work – perhaps an even greater masterpiece. I think it is almost miraculous that a composer in his sixties could write such beautiful, exciting and touching music, full of amazing joie de vivre.' Paul McCreesh