Haydn's own story of quiet revolution is overshadowed by the now fabled accounts of his contemporaries Mozart and Beethoven – their tortured artistic struggles, their lives touched by drama and tragedy. Haydn was a natural, hard-working person, who strived to meet the many deadlines for commissions ordered by his patrons.
The Seasons depicts many aspects of rural life through the four seasons of the year. It touches on friendship and love, success and hardship, and reaping the rewards of harvest after manual labour. There are also celebrations of wine and a hunting chorus. The more solemn ‘Ode to Toil’ caused Haydn to remark that, though he had been industrious all his life, he had never before been called upon to write music in praise of industry.
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Bernard Labadie, an internationally recognized expert on 17th and 18th century repertoire, is the founding conductor of Les Violons du Roy, established in 1984, and the music director of La Chapelle de Québec, which he founded in 1985. Increasingly in demand among period-instrument orchestras, his performances of Haydn’s The Seasons marks his debut with the Scottish Chamber Orchestra.
Born in Staffordshire, Lucy Crowe studied at the Royal Academy of Music. She has established herself as one of the leading lyric sopranos of her generation. Her operatic roles include Adele Die Fledermaus and Servilia La Clemenza di Tito for the Metropolitan Opera, New York; Ismene Mitridate, Eurydice Gluck’s Orphée et Eurydice, Adina l’Elisir d’Amore, Susanna Le Nozze di Figaro, Gilda Rigoletto and Belinda Dido and Aeneas for the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden; the title role in Rodelinda at the Teatro Real Madrid; Donna Elvira Don Giovanni with the Budapest Festival Orchestra in Edinburgh and New York...
Andrew Staples sang as a chorister in St Paul’s Cathedral before winning a Choral Scholarship to King’s College Cambridge, where he gained a degree in Music. He was the first recipient of the RCM Peter Pears Scholarship, sponsored by the Britten Pears Foundation, at the Royal College of Music and subsequently joined the Benjamin Britten International Opera School. He studies with Ryland Davies.
Neal Davies studied at King's College, London and the Royal Academy of Music, and won the Lieder Prize at the 1991 Cardiff Singer of the World Competition. He has appeared with the Oslo Philharmonic Orchestra under Mariss Jansons, BBC Symphony Orchestra under Pierre Boulez, Cleveland and Philharmonia orchestras under Christoph von Dohnányi, Chamber Orchestra of Europe under Nikolaus Harnoncourt, Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment under Frans Brüggen...