ComposerJosef Haydn
ArtistSir Thomas Beecham/Beecham Choral Society/Royal Philharmonic Orchestra
Instrumentssymphony orchestra and full chorus
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Picture of Double CD of Sir Thomas Beecham conducting Haydn's 'The Seasons' with the Beecham Choral Society and the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra
Released by SOMM as part of their Beecham Archive Recording series, this is a 2-CD set recorded in stereo at London's Abbey Road studios between 1956 and 1958. Issued on LP. It was first released by EMI.

Sung in the English translation by Dennis Arundell from the German libretto of G. van Swieten, the recording includes soloists, Elsie Morison (soprano), Alexander Young (tenor) and Michael Langdon (bass).

Beecham conducted The Seasons on five occasions between 1947 and 1950 and gave a concert performance in 1956 at the Edinburgh International Festival.

There are a few irreverent Beecham touches in the recordings, such as his orchestration of the keyboard accompanied passages in the recitatives (the sound sample is one such example) and his own addition of percussion cues to emphasize some of Haydn's descriptive points.

This CD is released in collaboration with the Sir Thomas Beecham Trust in support of the Scholarship Fund.

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Tracks on this CD

Joseph Haydn Spring
2.Recitative: O see where cruel Winter
3.Chorus: Come, gentle Spring!
4.Recitative: From Aries rolls at last
5.Air: Now fairly runs the farmer's boy
6.Recitative: The farmer has his work achieved
7.Trio & Chorus: Be now gracious, smiling heaven!
8.Recitative: Now heard are all our prayers
9.Trio & Chorus: O how lovely gleams
10.Chorus & Trio: Ageless! Powerful! Bountiful God!
Joseph Haydn Summer
11.Recitative: In dove-grey mantle
12.Air: The lively swain is gathering
13.Recitative: The rosy morning now breaks forth
14.Trio & Chorus: He's mounting up, the Sun.
15.Recitative: Now all are astir
16.Recitative: The midday sun is burning
17.Cavatina: Oppress'd succumbs all Nature now
18.Recitative: Oh welcome now, you shadier grove
19.Air: So reviving to the senses
20.Recitative: Oh see! Now rising in the sultry air
21.Chorus: Hark the tempest drawing nigh!
22.Trio & Chorus: The gloomy clouds now part aside
Joseph Haydn Autumn
24.Recitative: All that through her blossom
25.Trio & Chorus: So Nature gives reward to Zeal
26.Recitative: Now see! To hazel bushes
27.Duet: You beauties of the town
28.Recitative: Now see, on new stripp'd harvest field
29.Air: There look across the open fields!
30.Recitative: Here beaters, closing in
31.Chorus: Hark! The clamorous noise
32.Recitative: On all the vines are glist'ning
33.Chorus: Cheer now!
Joseph Haydn Winter
35.Recitative: Now sinks the pale declining year
36.Cavatina: Light and life are both enfeebled
37.Recitative: All fetter'd lies the open lake
38.Air: Here stands the wand'rer now
39.Recitative: At his approach rings in his ear
40.Song & Chorus: Purring, whirring, purring
41.Recitative: The flax has now been spun
42.Song & Chorus: A maid who kept her honour fair
43.Recitative: From barren East now thrust
44.Air: Before thee here
45.Recitative: Remains, alone
46.Trio & Chorus: Then breaks the glorious day

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