Haydn was in the autumn of his years when he composed The Seasons (1801). He travelled to England, where he was considered to be the greatest living composer. Back in Vienna, he spent his final years composing several of his most accomplished and personal works. Having discovered Handel's oratorios in London, he decided to make his own contribution to the genre.
Based on a collection of poems by the Scotsman James Thomson, The Seasons sings of the grandiose fresco of nature: from the sun, whose bright rays illuminate the universe to the humble croaking of the frog, from the buzzing of the bumblebee to the violence of the unleashed storm. The cycle of the world beginning ever anew confronts us with a spectacle far greater than ourselves.
As a secular oratorio, The Seasons is by nature at home in a theatre. The work is conducted by Jakob Lehmann, who returns to the Orchestra after a fine programme taking him from Prague to Vienna last season: this young conductor draws on historically informed readings of baroque scores to release all their emotional force.
Lorraine National Opera Orchestra
Lorraine National Opera Chorus
Trystan Llŷr Griffiths