Project information

Recording of Haydn The Seasons

In 2006, Gabrieli made a Gramophone Award-winning recording of Haydn's The Creation: the first recording ever to replicate the huge orchestra that Haydn himself used in early performances. A decade later, it is time to give the "sister" work, The Seasons, the same treatment in a stellar recording.

June 2016 - June 2016

Charity information: Gabrieli Consort & Players

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  • Need


    Compared to 'Creation', 'The Seasons' is relatively unknown, not widely recorded and infrequently performed. It is sometimes, unjustly, regarded as an inferior work, for two principal reasons.
    - The text: an English text, translated into German and then translated back for English performances, the word setting is often ungainly, occasionally risible.
    - It is rarely performed with the forces on which Haydn himself insisted: a huge orchestra (60 strings!) that brings the work vibrantly to life.


    It is our fervent belief that a new recording, employing the large orchestral forces that Haydn' himself used, will set the record straight and will help to bring this work to public attention - and admiration!
    Our Artistic Director, Paul McCreesh, has made his own new translation of the text, restoring the rhyming couplet structure and much of the beautiful imagery of the original, recreating the work's celebration of English countryside and country traditions.

  • Aims

    Aim 1

    To make a world-class, award-winning recording that will celebrate an unjustly neglected work.


    » Assemble an international orchestral ensemble with hand-picked principals, each specialists in music of this period, and a first class choir.
    » Provide a CD booklet with detailed programme notes that will explain the background of the work and enhance the listener's understanding & enjoyment.
    » Engage a cast of first class, international soloists whose profiles will assist with promoting the CD and enable the work to reach the widest audience
    » Engage the best technical production team to produce and edit the recording to enable us to deliver the recording within budget and on time.

    Collate press reviews of the recording, gather feedback from Gabrieli supporters and other CD buyers, gather feedback from our network of distributors and assess awards success.

    Aim 2

    To record with an international orchestra and choir drawing together artists from across Europe.


    » Engage Wroclaw Philharmonic Choir & Wroclaw Baroque Orchestra (who draw players from across Poland) to provide half the choir and some string players.
    » Engage wind principals from across Europe so that we record with the most respected specialist performers for this period of music.
    » Engage the remaining orchestra from within Gabrieli's usual excellent London-based freelance orchestra and choir.

    We will provide information on the nationality of all artists, their usual performing countries and the frequency with which they collaborate with British ensembles.

    Aim 3

    To give performances of the work to reach wider audiences, to publicise & prepare for the recording.


    » We have secured an engagement at St John's Smith Square, London immediately prior to the recording.
    » We will give a second performance in Wroclaw's new concert hall, National Forum of Music, the day before recording sessions begin.

    Collate press announcements, reviews and related interviews publicising the engagements. Gather artist feedback about how performances assisted their preparation for the recording.

  • Impact


    -Develop and increase Gabrieli's international profile; demonstrated by increased visibility in the market, publicity and engagements secured.
    -The project will be a standard bearer for good internatioonal collaborations. We will demonstrate this through practice sharing and peer learning with our colleagues in the business.
    -Develop Gabrieli's network of specialist performers in period instrument performance; success demonstrated through an improvement in our contacts in this area.


    - Potential cancellation of a performance is a threat to us. By planning two performances we have reduced this risk significantly. We are part-funding one concert, which reduces risk of cancellation.
    - Withdrawal of a soloist is a significant risk. We have prepared by giving previous performances with a range of different soloists so that we have other artists who know the work in this translation.
    - Travel delays present a risk; we have dealt with this by building in extra time to the schedule


    Reviews & news of awards will be shared in newsletters, direct mailings & on social media. Photography & news from sessions will be shared on social media and in our newsletter. Donors giving over £1000 will receive a free copy of the CD. Donors giving over £5000 will be invited to attend sessions.

  • Budget

    Budget - Project Cost: £250,000

    Loading graph....
      Amount Heading Description
      £40,000 Artist rehearsal costs 3 days of rehearsal in London for all artists
      £29,000 London performance A performance at St John's Smith Square
      £29,000 Wroclaw performance A performance at Wroclaw's National Forum of Music, Poland
      £57,000 Recording sessions Artists' fees for four days of recordings
      £35,000 Technical costs Production fees, staging, instrument hire, music preparation
      £25,000 Accommodation costs Accommodation in Wroclaw where the second performance and recording take place
      £35,000 Travel costs Travel between London and Wroclaw for artists, production team and management

    Current Funding / Pledges

    Source Amount
    Private promoter £20,000 Guaranteed
    Private promoter £30,000 Guaranteed
    Private sponsor £100,000 Guaranteed
    Private donor £30,000 Guaranteed
    Individual donation £30,000 Guaranteed
  • Background


    Rehearsals will take place in central London, one performance at St John's Smith Square, London; one performance at National Forum of Music, Wroclaw; recording sessions at National Forum of Music, Wroclaw. The National Forum of Music is a brand new venue designed by some of Europe's greatest concert hall acousticians, a significant development for this important Polish town (2016 European Capital of Culture) and set to be one of the leading new European venues.


    The musicians engaged to perform with us will benefit from an extended period to rehearse, perform and record this important work. They will also benefit from an unusual cross-European collaboration with artists drawn from across the continent.
    Our supporters and audience will benefit from the opportunity to hear the work in a new translation that sheds light on this important work.
    Other artists in the future will benefit from the free loan of scores containing the new translation.

  • Why Us?

    Why Us?

    Gabrieli are standard bearers in our field of research and performance, paying the most precise attention to matters of performance practice, using the most appropriate instruments and playing techniques for the music of a given period.
    We have a proven track record in this repertoire with our Gramophone Award-winning performance of The Creation and great critical acclaim for past performances of The Seasons.
    Our management team is extremely experienced in delivering projects of this size.

    Read more about the Charity running this project.


    Paul McCreesh

    Artistic Director: one of the most highly regarded interpreters of repertoire of this period, Paul has hand picked the soloists and instrumentalists.

    David Clegg

    Chorus Manager: David is responsible for choosing the best European singers to make up Gabrieli's award winning, internationally renowned choir.

    Susie York Skinner

    Chief Executive: Susie has extensive experience of managing large-scale projects and ensembles and of delivering high cost projects within budget.

Gabrieli in the recording studio

Gabrieli in the recording studio

“...rhythmically incisive playing ... music-making of infectious vitality..."

Richard Fairman, Financial Times, 17 January 2012