Haydn The Seasons 2011

“McCreesh conducted it quite wonderfully, with an almost innate sense of its ebb and flow, summoning impeccable, incisive playing and some glorious choral singing from his Gabrieli Consort and Players.”The Guardian

“The sharp flavour of the period instruments meant that Haydn’s numerous pictorialisms – twittery piccolos for birds, tripping violins for gambolling sheep, rustic dances with bagpipe drones – were charmingly vivid rather than twee. Really they were the stars of the show; the chorus and soloists just had to admire God’s handiwork, which they did in tones that struck the right balance between outdoors straightforwardness and high-art sophistication. McCreesh’s translation was a shrewd simulacrum of lofty 18th-century diction, softened for modern ears. It was all a delight.”The Daily Telegraphy

“...rhythmically incisive playing...music-making of infectious vitality.”The Financial Times

“...bassoons and recorders gurgling their way through Winter’s long thaw; vibrato-free strings wilting in the enervating heat of Summer; and a deliciously-reedy oboe revelling in the shade. And the chorus was briskly and incisively articulate...”The Times

“This was an outstanding performance. McCreesh’s command and over-arching plan for the work was perfectly paced, and under his baton the orchestra’s playing was incisive and whole-heartedly visceral...The Gabrieli Consort is a world-class choir, and took the opportunity afforded by McCreesh’s instantly intelligible translation to give each and every chorus its appropriate mood and drive.”Early Music Today

“Radiating joy and passionate commitment at every turn, the result was a resounding triumph. His lively, buoyant approach made the most of Haydn's orchestral detail, the superb Gabrieli Players relishing especially the delightful depictions of swarming bees, gambolling lambs and the like. Unlike the gargantuan forces he used for The Creation, McCreesh opted this time for a modest chamber-sized orchestra. It made an impressively full sound....The raw energy of four natural horns blasting away during the thrilling hunting chorus was breathtaking.

At the other end of the scale, the valedictory Winter aria for bass, poignantly sung by Christopher Purves, was spellbinding in its intimate tenderness...The choral singing was magnificent. The number of singers (30) was ideal to provide lusty weight with excellent clarity, and the choristers entered fully into the spirit: the hearty drinking chorus was wonderfully entertaining, complete with a battery of triangles and tambourines.”Classical Source

“...the large Gabrieli Consort, with a rich brass ensemble of four horns, two trumpets, three trombones and full strings and woodwind, created varied, captivating soundscapes. Sweet flutes evoked spring’s mild airs during the opening accompanied recitative; gorgeously opulent horns rang triumphantly...String playing was animated and nimble...Textures were unfailingly crisp and clear...The Gabrieli Consort sang lustily and lustrously, relishing the more operatic moments of the score...All credit to McCreesh for inspiring his players and singers to perform with such startling energy and vitality.”Opera Today