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Travel Tip: Classical Music in United States
New York Philharmonic

Radu Lupu
Radu Lupu
New York Philharmonic: Radu Lupu, piano
NEW YORK  •  Avery Fisher Hall  •  Ongoing

Beethoven: Overture to The Creatures of Prometheus (1801)

None other than the most powerful woman in the world at the time, the Hapsburg Empress, Maria Theresia, commissioned the 30 year-old Ludwig van Beethoven to compose a ballet on the subject of Prometheus. The creator of the scenario and choreographer was the renowned Neopolitan Salvatore Vigamò (1769-1821), master of the ballet at the Viennese court. His third production was The Creatures of Prometheus, an allegory that tells the story of the Greek demigod who stole fire from the gods. The playbill at the premiere provided the story: "Prometheus is 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... The ballet presents two animated statues who, by the power of harmony, are susceptible to 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." The two-act ballet consists of an overture, an introduction, fifteen dance numbers, and a finale. Despite some "artistic differences" between the choreographer and Beethoven that were eventually sorted out, their collaboration was hugely successful. While the ballet is no longer performed, Beethoven "recycled" some of the music into other works, and the overture has had a post-ballet life as a popular curtain raiser at symphony concerts.

Beethoven: Piano Concerto No. 1 (1798)
Beethoven; Symphony No. 5

New York Philharmonic
Christoph von Dohnányi, conductor
Radu Lupu, piano

Detailed schedule information:
7:30 pm, 8:00 pm

Contact: Avery Fisher Hall
Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts
Lincoln Center Plaza
New York, NY 10023

Tel: (1) 212 721 65 00

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