Talk:The Creatures of Prometheus

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The article refers to a 'libretto' by Vigano - and if we pursue this to his Wikipedia article we find he was an innovator, and a well sought-after figure in ballet. Does this 'libretto' actually survive, even in outline? Without some indication of its content it's hard to follow the music - as the comment on it quoted makes only too clear. (talk) 12:40, 16 April 2016 (UTC)

According to a Chicago Symphony Orchestra programme note online this apparently is the summary provided for the first audience

'This allegorical ballet is based on the myth of Prometheus. The Greek philosophers, who knew of him, elucidate the story in the following manner—they depict Prometheus as a lofty spirit who, finding the human beings of his time in a state of ignorance, refined them through art and knowledge and gave them laws of right conduct. In accordance with this source, the ballet presents two animated statues who, by the power of harmony, are made susceptible to all the passions of human existence. Prometheus takes them to Parnassus, to receive instruction from Apollo, god of the arts, who commands Amphion, Arion, and Orpheus to teach them music; Melpomene and Thalia, tragedy and comedy. Terpsichore aids Pan, who introduces them to the Pastoral Dance, which he has invented, and from Bacchus they learn his invention—the Heroic Dance.'

This might help listeners to place some of Beethoven's writing. The attribution of the 'Heroic Dance' to Bacchus might be more than just interesting in view of the relationship between the closing scene of the ballet and the finale of the 'Eroica' Symphony. It might also be that the issue of law-giving and 'right conduct' isn't all that far from Beethoven's interest in Napoleon, and the wider cultural issues raised , for example, by Goethe in 'Natur und Kunst' and others. There's more to the 'Eroica' than the dedication page. (talk) 12:53, 16 April 2016 (UTC)