Though it has never enjoyed the popularity of The Creation, its sister oratorio, Haydn’s last completed work The Seasons brings more of his prodigious genius into play.

That was the irresistible message from Wednesday’s often enthralling performance in the original German, conducted by Peter Seymour.

The true tints of the changing year, seen in Haydn’s cameos of country life, come through most richly in his orchestra. Here Seymour had a hugely reliable ally in the Northern Sinfonia. Whether in the thrilling horns of the hunt, the bold fanfares at spring’s close, the shepherd’s trilling oboe, or the crack of the sportsman’s rifle, we had primary colours at every turn. The strings, often in perpetual motion in the choruses, added sterling support.

The soloists took rather different approaches to their rustic roles. Matthew Brook applied his bass, with increasing success, to Simon’s homespun humour, most notably in his spaniel aria.

The Enlightenment moral of the final aria proved well-suited to his operatic treatment. Adrian Thompson’s twitchy tenor made a townie of Lucas, never really at ease. But soprano Mhairi Lawson, phrasing stylishly, was always the country lass whether cavorting or musing. Her folksongs were witty, her evocation of sunrise creamy and her mezzo-tinted late-autumn cavatina exquisite.

The choir, weighing in only slightly lighter than usual at 230 voices, proved surprisingly light on its feet - once it had despatched its clunky opening to ‘gentle’ spring. Clarity marked the fugal chorus-endings, and the sopranos soared fearlessly above the stave. Teamwork triumphed.