The Seasons is an allegorical ballet in one act, four scenes, by the choreographer Marius Petipa, with music by Alexander Glazunov, his Op. 67. The work was composed in 1899, and was first performed by the Imperial Ballet in 1900 in St. Petersburg, Russia.
The score for Marius Petipa’s Les Saisons (The Seasons) was originally intended to have been composed by the Italian composer and conductor Riccardo Drigo, who was Glazunov’s colleague and close friend. Since 1886, Drigo held the posts of director of music and Chef d’orchestre to the Ballet of the St. Petersburg Imperial Theatres, while also serving as conductor for performances of the Italian operas in the repertory of the Imperial Opera. Petipa’s Les Millions d’Arlequin (a.k.a. Harlequinade) was also in its preliminary stages at the same time as Les Saisons, and was originally intended to have had a score supplied by Glazunov. Since Drigo and Glazunov had an affinity towards each other’s assigned ballet, the two composers agreed that Glazunov would compose
Les Saisons and that Drigo would compose Les Millions d’Arlequin.
Petipa’s Les Millions d’Arlequin was presented for the first time at the Imperial Theatre of the Hermitage on 23 February 1900. Les Saisons premiered three days later. For both performances the whole of the Imperial court was in attendance.
In 1907, Nikolai Legat staged a revival of Les Saisons at the Imperial Mariinsky Theatre. This production was performed on occasion by the Imperial Ballet after the Russian Revolution, being performed for the last time in 1927.