The Seasons (libretto)


Tableau 1 — A winter landscape

Winter is surrounded by his companions: Hoar-frost, Ice, Hail and Snow, who amuse themselves with a band of snowflakes. Two gnomes enter, and soon light a fire that causes all assembled to vanish.

Tableau 2 — A landscape covered with flowers

Spring dances with Zephyr, flower fairies, and enchanted birds. Upon feeling the heat of the sun, the assembly takes flight.

Tableau 3 — A landscape of flowing fields of wheat

Cornflowers and poppies revel in the light and warmth of the sun. They take rest after their exertion. Now naiads appear, who bring water to refresh the growth, and the Spirit of Corn dances in thanksgiving. Satyrs and fauns enter playing their pipes, and attempt to carry off the Spirit of the Corn, but she is rescued by the wind of Zephyr.

Tableau 4 — A landscape in Autumn

The Seasons take part in a glorious dance (the well-known “autumn bacchanale”) while leaves from autumn trees rain upon their merriment.

Apotheosis — The Sable sky

Constellations of stars sparkle above the earth.


Résumé of scenes and dances

List of the numbers comprising The Seasons taken from the Yearbook of the Imperial Theatres, 1899-1900, being the original titles of the dances and mise en scène as originally staged.

  • №01 Prélude

Tableau I — L’Hiver (winter)

  • №02 Scène de l’Hiver
  • №03 Variation du givre (frost)
  • №04 Variation de la glace (ice)
  • №05 Variation de la grêle (hail)
  • №06 Variation de la neige (snow)
  • №07 Coda

Tableau II — Le Printemps (spring)

  • №08 Entrée de Printemps, Zéphyre, les Fées des fleurs, les oiseaux et les fleurs

Tableau III — L’Été (summer)

  • №09 Scène de l’Été
  • №10 Valse des bleuets et des pavots (Waltz of the Cornflowers and Poppies)
  • №11 La Barcarolle – Entrée des naïades, le satyres et des faunes
  • №12 Variation de l’Esprit du maïs
  • №13 Coda

Tableau IV — L’Automne (autumn)

  • №14 Grande bacchanale des saisons
a. Entrée des saisons
b. L’Hiver
c. Le Printemps
d. Bacchanale
e. L’Été
  • №15 Petit adage
  • №16 Variation du Satyre
  • №17 Coda générale


  • №18 Apothéose: La Révélation des étoiles