Félicien David

Soundbite of No.3

Soundbite of No.4

Soundbite of No.6

Les Quatre Saisons-The Four Seasons

Soirées d'Hiver-The Evening Concerts of Winter (Complete!)

For 2 Violins, Viola, Cello and Bass (or 2 Cellos)

Félicien David's Les Quatre Saisons for String Quintet--24 charming and elegant pieces, six for each season, full of enchanting melodies. Oh to be able to play this wonderful music. But, alas, it can't be found. Les Quatre Saisons enjoyed considerable popularity up until the end of the 19th century but was never reprinted. Unfortunately, in the 20th century the music disappeared and became all but impossible to obtain. The famous chamber music critic Wilhelm Altmann bemoaned this fact in his Chamber Music Handbook as far back as 1936! Now, after years of searching, we have been able to obtain a complete set of parts. And here is something else---Not only was this music never reprinted, it never appeared in complete sets. Only 2 movements from each season were published at a time. This was done to increase profits.  But now, for the first time ever, a complete set of all six movements of each season is made available.


Félicien David (1810-1876) though widely known in his home country for his spectacular operas, filled with exotic music, elsewhere is virtually unknown. Born in the south of France in the town of Cadenet, his early musical education took place there, but much of what he learned was through self-study of Haydn, Mozart, and Beethoven. David also wrote chamber music, something in which French audiences showed little curiosity during the first half of the 19 century. But by mid century, thanks to the pioneering efforts of George Onslow and Louise Farrenc, this was starting to change. David composed three piano trios, at least four string quartets, and Les Quatre Saisons.


Les Quatre Saisons came into being because a violinist friend of David’s, Jules Armingaud, who gave regular Thursday evening chamber music concerts (soirées), encouraged the composer to bring something for his quintet to one of these evenings. David did so. Armingaud was so delighted that he insisted David bring more. David then hit upon the idea of composing six works for each season’s evening concerts. Hence, there were six works for the Soirées de Printemps or Spring Evening Concerts and so forth for each season. Le Quatre Saisons was composed over the two year period of 1842-1844. When Mendelssohn invited David to visit him in Germany in 1845, David brought the manuscripts of Le Quatre Saisons with him and showed them to Mendelssohn, who was delighted by them. These charming works were intended for intimate evening chamber music concerts in the salon. To increase sales, David's publisher insisted on a 2nd Cello part in lieu of bass.


PLEASE READ THIS: We looked for a complete set of parts for more than 20 years. On two occasions we found one in different European libraries. The parts were bound in large volumes and the library would not agree to make copies. At last, we found them again in a library which agreed to scan the parts for us. The parts, however, were bound in large volumes which made scanning quite difficult and created some staff bending at the ends. Additionally, it must be noted, the publisher did not use good quality ink or paper. The result being that the ink on these nearly 170 year old parts had faded in places and there were all sorts of water marks, smudges, and detritus. We have spent many hours digitally cleaning, darkening, lightening and correcting errors and have been able to create a very serviceable performance edition in order to rescue these lovely pieces from oblivion. Make no mistake, it is easy to read the music, but some of the pages have specs on them.


We now offer the entire set of all ALL FOUR SEASONS COMPLETE at a substantial discount over what you would pay if you bought each set separately.


(A) Winter-2 Violins, Viola, Cello & Bass-Parts $34.95
(B) Winter-2 Violins, Viola & 2 Cellos-Parts $34.95

(C) Winter-All Six Parts


(D)  SPECIAL OFFER Complete Set of all 4 Seasons -US ONLY     


(E)  SPECIAL OFFER Complete Set of all 4 Seasons -NON-US     




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