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     Prometheus was the son of the Titan Iapetus, brother to Kronos who was the father of Zeus. Prometheus means "Forethought". He was the wisest among the Titan Gods.
     Stories describing Prometheus' deeds can be found in both Greek and Roman mythologies. There are several versions of the myths. The most famous of them tell that Prometheus created man and later stole fire from Mount Olympus to save mankind:
     Zeus and the gods felt they received no respect from men. They plotted to wipe humanity out and create a new race. Prometheus decided to help people and brought to them fire, science and art. As a punishment, Zeus ordered Prometheus to be chained in the Caucasus Mountains for eternity. Each new day an eagle (in some versions a vulture) would come and rip out his liver and each new day the liver would regenerate. The cycle continued until Hercules killed the eagle and freed Prometheus.
     Prometheus has often been described as the Christ character in Greek mythology since Greeks saw him as the redeemer and saviour of humanity.
     Beethoven considered the Prometheus self-sacrifice as the highest form of heroic action. The usage of musical material from "Creatures of Prometheus" in the "Eroica" symphony and "Eroica" Variations for piano confirms this assumption.
     Other versions of the myths don't credit Prometheus with the creation of men, but describe how he refined them through science and art.
     Sometimes Beethoven's Prometheus is not considered as the fire-bringer, but the "lofty soul, who drove ignorance from the people of his time, and gave them manners, customs and morals". (Sounds like it would be very helpful also today!)  According to this interpretation of Beethoven's ballet, Prometheus brought two statues to life and took them to Parnassus
where Apollo and the Muses instructed them in the arts.
     The ballet was dedicated to the Empress Maria Theresa and was premiered in Vienna, 1801. The most popular part today is the overture to the ballet.

     Vladimir Fedoseyev developed the USSR TV and Radio Large Symphony Orchestra for 26 years into one of the best Russian orchestras and made it internationally known by touring, before he was appointed as a principal conductor of the Vienna Symphony Orchestra in 1997.

     Fedoseyev also conducts leading orchestras in Germany (Orchester des Bayrischen Rundfunks, RSO Stuttgart, Staatsorchester Hamburg), in France (Orchestre National de France, Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France), in Italy, Scandinavia and in  Switzerland.  The Tokyo Philharmonic Orchestra appointed him as their first guest conductor.
     Fedoseyev's conducting demonstrates such unique virtues as a perfect ensemble and balance in sound, discipline and the perfectionist's approach. For those who attended his concerts they will remain etched in their memory for a lifetime. Fedoseyev's interpretation of "Creatures of Prometheus" by Beethoven is one of the most remarkable.

2003 Evgeni Kostitsyn

Ludwig van Beethoven
(1770 - 1827)
"Creatures of Prometheus", ballet, op. 43

 
     1. Overture. Adagio. Allegro con brio 4:57
     2. Introduction. Allegro non troppo 2:25
     3. I. Poco Adagio. Allegro con brio 3:12
     4. II. Adagio. Allegro con brio 1:44
     5. III. Allegro Vivace 1:03
     6. IV. Maestoso. Andante 1:20
     7. V. Adagio. Andante quasi Allegretto 7:15
     8. VI. Un poco Adagio. Allegro 1:24
     9. VII. Grave 4:50
   10. VIII. Allegro con brio 7:26
   11. IX. Adagio. Allegro molto 4:36
   12. X. Pastorale. Allegro 3:38
   13. XI. Andante - 0:26
   14. XII. Maestoso. Adagio. Allegro - 2:50
   15. XIII. Allegro - 3:51
   16. XIV. Solo della Casentini. Andante. Adagio. Allegro. Allegretto - 5:39
   17. XV. Solo di Vigano. Andantino. Adagio. Allegro - 4:35
   18. XVI. Finale. Allegretto. Allegro molto - 6:54

        Total Time - 68:24

Vladimir Fedoseyev, conductor
The USSR TV and Radio Large Symphony Orchestra 

© 1995 Gramzapis
© 2002 CDK Music

Recorded in Ostankino studio, Moscow, in 1985.

Cover design by Evgeni Kostitsyn