Beethoven : Creatures of Prometheus
Notes by Margaret Scialdone
In 1801 the ballet master Salvatore Viganó was commanded to prepare a performance for Empress Maria Theresa. He chose the subject of Prometheus giving science and the arts to Mankind, and turned to Beethoven to compose a score for his libretto. “Creatures of Prometheus” is Beethoven’s only full-length ballet, with overture, introduction, 15 numbers, and a finale. As the original libretto has been lost, it’s no longer staged as a ballet.
In this 1960 performance, Charles Munch conducts the Boston Symphony orchestra in excerpts from Beethoven’s Opus 43, The Creatures of Prometheus.