part of track
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
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
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
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
©2003 Evgeni Kostitsyn
(1770 - 1827)
"Creatures of Prometheus", ballet, op. 43
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,
Cover design by Evgeni Kostitsyn