By Constantin Floros
With this research the writer «opened up a formerly locked door of Beethoven examine» (Martin Geck). The e-book provides conclusive solutions to questions that had occupied critics for greater than a century. It makes transparent what precisely Beethoven and his contemporaries intended by way of the time period «heroic». It proves that the «heroic-allegorical ballet» The Creatures of Prometheus is a key paintings for an realizing of the Eroica, and indicates that Beethoven linked the 1st Consul of the French Republic, Napoleon Bonaparte, with the legendary determine of the Titan Prometheus. The ebook attracts on interdisciplinary researches within the components of Greek Mythology, Napoleonic background and Comparative Literature.
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Extra info for Beethoven's Eroica: Thematic Studies
8, one would, taking Ritorni’s statement in a strictly sequential sense, have to see in No. 7 the dance led by Terpsichore and hence in No. 6 the piece that gives expression to the now awakened feelings of the newly created beings for their father Prometheus. However, weighty considerations speak against such an attribution of Nos. 6 and 7. To begin with, the music of No. 7 is stately – the expression mark is Grave. It cannot possibly have been designed for a dance of the Graces, whose lightness is proverbial.
34 The Solos of the Creatures (Nos. 14 and 15) Prior to the Finale, the choreographer placed two dance numbers that would give Prometheus’ children an opportunity to show what they had learned (and for the leading dancers to strut their stuff): the solo of the ballerina Mlle. Casentini and that of the choreographer and premier danseur, Salvatore Viganò, himself. In a formal respect, the two pieces (Nos. 14 and 15) are similarly constructed, in that in each of them an introduction is followed by a slow and then by an animated section.
3. Viganò, who, like Monti, had a special predilection for mythological themes, dealt with the Prometheus story a second time, in a large, six-act ballet, which had its premiere under the title Prometeo in May of 1813 (twelve years after that of The Creatures of Prometheus). Together with the ballets Dedalo and I Titani, this so-called “greater Prometheus” formed a kind of wide-flung trilogy, whose theme is the evolution of the human race. 14 These data make it appear plausible that Viganò encountered Monti’s Prometeo soon after its appearance in the spring of 1797 and used its mythographic Preface as a source for his Geschöpfe des Prometheus.
Beethoven's Eroica: Thematic Studies by Constantin Floros