When Choral Arts Society of Washington conductor Norman Scribner decided to include Haydn's "The Seasons" in this year's concert schedule, he didn't realize that Robert Schafer, conductor of The Oratorio Society of Washington, planned to have his ensemble perform Haydn's "The Creation" at about the same time. Rather than present two unrelated concerts, Scribner and Schafer decided to tie the performances together in a mini-festival of Haydn. "The Seasons" will be performed Wednesday at 8:30 p.m. at the Kennedy Center. "The Creation" will be performed the following Sunday at 7:30 p.m.
"These are the two greatest choral works of Haydn, so we decided to make it an event," says Shafer. The Haydn Festival Orchestra, consisting of local free-lance musicians brought together for the occasion, will accompany both choral groups. A replica of the fortepiano played in Haydn's time will round out the accompaniment.
In presenting these two concerts, Scribner and Shafer hope that audiences will become more familiar with "The Seasons" and "The Creation." "The biggest thing we could ask for is that we present the works in their best light and that they audiences who have not heard either of these works felt they had a new and precious friend."