By Constantin Floros
With this examine the writer «opened up a formerly locked door of Beethoven examine» (Martin Geck). The ebook offers conclusive solutions to questions that had occupied critics for greater than a century. It makes transparent what precisely Beethoven and his contemporaries intended through the time period «heroic». It proves that the «heroic-allegorical ballet» The Creatures of Prometheus is a key paintings for an knowing 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 booklet attracts on interdisciplinary researches within the components of Greek Mythology, Napoleonic heritage and Comparative Literature
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Extra info for Beethoven's Eroica: Thematic Studies. Translated by Ernest Bernhardt-Kabisch
Ferdinand Gioja was the performer of the role of Bacchus; Mlle. Casentini danced the female creature, Salvatore Viganò the male one. Two dances of Bacchus and his retinue are thus followed by a terzettino and then by the dances of the first humans, who only now, upon the completion of their Parnassian “education” are given numbers (and solos) of their own. Unfortunately, neither Ritorni’s scenario nor Beethoven’s sketches tell us anything about this crowing pas de deux! For which characters was the terzettino (No.
1 Pursued by the thundering wrath of Heaven – the occasion for a roaring musical prelude – Prometheus comes running through the forest to his two statues of clay, whose hearts he quickly touches with the celestial torch. While, his work done, he sinks exhausted onto a stone, they obtain life and movement and become in reality what they seemed before, a man and a woman (Salvatore himself and the superb Casentini). Prometheus rises, looks at them with jubilant joy, and beckons them to him with fatherly love, but is unable to awaken any feelings in them that would indicate the use of reason: on the contrary, instead of turning toward him, they let themselves drop to the ground at the foot of a tall tree.
Prometheus’ children do not resist the thirst for fame and, having taken up weapons, want to take part in the dance. But now Melpomene intervenes, presenting a tragic scene to the astonished youngsters by showing them with her dagger how death puts an end to the days of man. While the children shudder, she rushes up to their dismayed father, reproaches him for having created these wretched beings for such misfortune and thinks death not too harsh a punishment for him. In vain the pitying children try to hold her back: she kills Prometheus with her dagger.