Haydn: Seasons- oratorium
Soloist: singing soloists, and the National Choir
Conductor: Csaba Somos
Joseph Haydn’s (1732-1807) oratorio The Seasons is one of the most significant works in the history of European music, one of the author’s last completed, large-scale compositions, a single non-
religious-themed oratorio. Its theme is the eternal cycle of nature, the cyclical changes of the four seasons,
description of beautiful nature images. His text from the short story The Seasons by the Scottish poet James Thomson was translated into German by Baron Gottfried van Swieten, supplemented and reworked. Cast:
Hanna (soprano), Luke (tenor) and Simon (bass). The piece, in the traditional sense, has no
also his plot: a genre of depictions of natural images corresponding to each season and of village life
consists of a series of linen. The oratorio begins with an orchestral introduction, but not yet with the colors of spring,
but with the grim images of the farewell winter. The arrival of spring is welcomed by Farmer Simon, Hanna, her daughter and the future, Luke, and will soon be joined by a peasant choir. The next season is a summer day
characterized by the text. Simon sings about shepherding, Hanna sings about the Sun again, Luke makes summer work difficult
gay brush. The heat is scorching, but the clouds are already gathering in the sky, a real summer celestial war is going on.
Autumn is a lovely season of the arts. The piece reports a bountiful harvest, happily picking the fruit, Simon is today
and Luke sings about rabbit driving. It is already the subject of hunting
followed by the “highlight” of autumn, the harvest. The music of winter starts with heavy, heavy melodies, it’s about cold, frost in Simon’s song. Hanna praises the warm room, singing a cozy spinning song. Cheerfulness, however, is replaced by sadness: after life, after flowering, passing away, destruction, is always inevitable. Nevertheless, one will always master the difficulties, and – as if it were a religious-themed piece – the oratorio ends with an amen.