The Seasons was commissioned by the Kappa Kappa Psi National Band Fraternity and the Tau Beta Sigma National Band Sorority. It was first performed by the National Intercollegiate Band, conducted by the composer, at their biennial National Convention held in Lexington, Kentucky, on July 26th 2005.
Following many earlier models by composers such as Vivaldi and Glazunov, Philip Sparke has taken the yearly cycle of the seasons to inspire a framework for this four-movement suite.
1) Spring Sunshine
The opening movement exploits the wide range of colours available from the concert band to describe a bright spring morning
2) Summer Siesta
A rippling figure in the clarinets underscores a calm and serene melody to conjure up a quiet rest by the river on a hot summerís afternoon
3) Autumn Alone
A solo clarinet opens this intense movement which sees autumn as heralding the dark days of winter
4) Winter Winds
The last movement describes stormy winter weather in all its fury and glory, but also returns to music from the first movement as winter gives way to spring once again to restart the yearly cycle.