Newbury Choral Society - bringing the finest
choral music alive since 1885

Registered Charity No. 291321

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NCS Spring Concert Image




NCS Spring Concert


The Seasons was one of Joseph Haydn’s last major works, written at the end of the 18th century and first performed in 1801. Because The Creation had proved so popular a few years earlier, Haydn and the librettist van Swieten were keen to produce another oratorio in an attempt to emulate its success. Van Swieten took as his source poems of 1730 by the Scot, James Thomson.

The Seasons is all about beauty; beauty of text, beauty of music, beauty of form and style - they didn’t call it the Classical Period for nothing! As befits the depiction of nature, it is full of light and shade, joy and foreboding, tranquillity and turbulence as humans and nature interact. The work is divided, as one might expect, into four sections, each dealing with the activities and occupations of a particular season. It is related by Lucas, Simon and Jane as soloists, and a chorus of rustics who, for example, rejoice in the broaching of the new wine, take part in a rousing hunting chorus and cower beneath the threat of a thunderstorm. As well as the lyricism and tunefulness for which Haydn is justly famous, he also displays his skill in creating atmospheric “tone-pictures”, such as his depiction of a gentle nightfall, a new dawn or a ploughman whistling (one of Haydn’s own tunes!) as he toils away. 

Cathal Garvey and Newbury Choral Society look forward to performing this important work, from a prolific and innovative composer, together with professional soloists and Covent Garden Chamber Orchestra.















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