By Constantin Floros
With this examine the writer «opened up a formerly locked door of Beethoven examine» (Martin Geck). The e-book provides conclusive solutions to questions that had occupied critics for greater than a century. It makes transparent what precisely Beethoven and his contemporaries intended by way of the time period «heroic». It proves that the «heroic-allegorical ballet» The Creatures of Prometheus is a key paintings for an figuring out of the Eroica, and exhibits that Beethoven linked the 1st Consul of the French Republic, Napoleon Bonaparte, with the legendary determine of the Titan Prometheus. The booklet attracts on interdisciplinary researches within the components of Greek Mythology, Napoleonic heritage and Comparative Literature
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Extra info for Beethoven's Eroica: Thematic Studies. Translated by Ernest Bernhardt-Kabisch
Contributes her share to the “education” of the first humans. Only then the “basic training” of the latter is complete; only then the newly created are able to feel the emotions of gratitude and love. We think that the discrepancy between Ritorni’s scenario and the sequence of pieces in Beethoven’s score is a specious one. It resolves itself if one does not insist on taking Ritorni’s sequence of actions as absolute. 35 2. The Music of the First Act If we study the 16 or, if one counts the Introduzione as a separate number, the 17 numbers of Beethoven’s score, taking the synopsis of the action published by Ritorni systematically into consideration, we will realize that Beethoven’s music underpins the scenic action exactly and that it is everywhere “speaking” (in Angiolini’s term), pantomimic and characteristic.
Oddly enough, a crucial detail that may provide a key to the mystery has been entirely overlooked to date. In the playbill for the premiere, Pan is expressly called the “inventor” of the shepherd’s dance. The pastoral must therefore certainly be the dance of Pan. If that is correct, however, how is Ritorni’s statement about the entrance of Thalia to be explained? I think the difficulty disappears if we understand Ritorni to say that Thalia holds her mask to the faces of the weeping creatures at the same time that Pan performs his dance and brings the Titan back to life.
Al cenno di Febo, Euterpe, secondata da Anfione, mettesi a suonare, ed alle loro modulazioni i due giovinetti cominciano dar segno di ragione, di riflessione, di veder le bellezze della natura, di sentir umani affetti. Arione ed Orfeo rafforzano l'armonia colle loro cetere, ed ultimamente il Nume secoloro. I Candidati agitansi quà e là, e giunti avanti Prometeo, conoscon in lui l’oggetto di lor riconoscenza e amore, e gli si prostrano, e seco confondono gli affettuosi amplessi. Allora avvanza Tersicore colle Grazie, e Bacco co' suoi Baccanti, che menano una danza eroica (più propria del seguito di Marte) nella quale i figli di Prometeo, non reggendo ommai agli stimoli della gloria, dato dipiglio all' armi, voglionsi mischiare.