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Martha
02-07-2001, 07:08 PM
I love listening to The Creatures of Prometheus. The entire Ballet NOT the overture. The only recording I could find on CD is Point Classics 267012-2
I think of it (some of it anyway) as a "Beethoven sampler" and other sections as a Beethoven rarely heard.( The ever so light ballet music)
In one bio. I read they said it was the piece that started his career! I wanted to ask you folks your opinion and if you have ever heard it? Also, why do we NEVER hear it on the radio? only the overture!

One other footnote--recently a local PBS radio station asked that old question "What classical recording would you take (only 1) to a desert island?" They told me they could put all the other composers/compositions on one island but if all the people who said,"Beethoven's Ninth" were on one island---it would SINK! I'd be one of them!

Michael
02-08-2001, 01:37 AM
I agree with you totally, Martha. In the "Creatures of Prometheus" there is almost an hour of fantastic music and yet all you hear on the radio is the Overture with a tacked-on ending. In the complete ballet, the Overture doesn't end but goes straight into a storm movement which nearly rivals the one in the Pastoral Symphony.
And I can't understand why the beautiful adagio (the one that opens with the harp) hasn't gone straight to the top of the lollipop charts!
There are only about three or four good recordings that I know of. Frans Bruggen has a fine version on period instruments on Philips (but he takes some numbers too fast, including that adagio). My own personal favourite is by the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra on D.G.G. but I think it's only available as part of a five CD set.
The Beethoven scholar, Barry Cooper, caused some amusement a few years back when he said, in an article, that Beethoven was a much neglected composer, but I think I know what he meant.

Michael

Peter
02-08-2001, 10:02 AM
Originally posted by Michael:
The Beethoven scholar, Barry Cooper, caused some amusement a few years back when he said, in an article, that Beethoven was a much neglected composer, but I think I know what he meant.

Michael

He was right Michael ! I've always felt that Beethoven has suffered from being too great! - the Symphonies, Quartets , Sonatas and Concertos have always obscured the rest of B's output. There are a whole host of neglected Beethoven works, Choral Fantasy, The Oratorio, The Mass in C, The stage works (only the overtures being known), most of the songs, a great deal of the early works and even the folk song arrangements !

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'Man know thyself'

[This message has been edited by Peter (edited 02-08-2001).]

PDG
02-21-2001, 09:32 PM
[QUOTE]Originally posted by Martha:
[B]I love listening to The Creatures of Prometheus. The entire Ballet NOT the overture. The only recording I could find on CD is Point Classics 267012-2
I think of it (some of it anyway) as a "Beethoven sampler" and other sections as a Beethoven rarely heard.( The ever so light ballet music)
In one bio. I read they said it was the piece that started his career! I wanted to ask you folks your opinion and if you have ever heard it? Also, why do we NEVER hear it on the radio? only the overture!>>>

Hello Martha,

The biggest criticism of the music at the time was that it was too interesting for the subject matter(!), too "learned" for a ballet (yep, sounds like our boy) & too independent of the dancing. Beethoven always blamed the ballet`s lack of cohesion on its choreography by Salvatore Vigano (a nephew of Boccherini).

I`d say that the complete score is Beethoven`s most underrated full-scale orchestral work. It`s full of great tunes & imaginative instrument interplay. It features B`s only ever orchestral use of a harp - in the beautiful adagio mentioned by Michael - & in a delicate andante, his one ever use of a basset horn.

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Peter (PDG)