b'October 2022 Program Notesby Elizabeth SchwartzLUDWIG VAN BEETHOVEN Overture to Die Geschpfe des Prometheus [The Creatures of Prometheus], Opus 43COMPOSER:born December 16, 1770, Bonn; died March 26, 1827, ViennaWORK COMPOSED:1801 . Dedicated to Princess Christiane, wife of Beethovens patron, Prince LichnowskyWORLD PREMIERE:The Creatures of Prometheus premiered on March 28, 1801, in Viennas Burgtheater and performed several times that year and in 1802 . Beethoven dedicated it to Princess Christiane, a respectable amateur pianist and wife of Prince Lichnowsky, his patron at the time .INSTRUMENTATION:2 flutes, 2 oboes, 2 clarinets, 2 bassoons, 2 horns, 2 trumpets, timpani and stringsESTIMATED DURATION:5 minutesWriting music for theatrical purposes held littleator . Two of his creatures, (statues, in this interest for Ludwig van Beethoven . Aside from hiscase, portrayed by Vigan and his wife) come opera Fidelio and incidental music for a few playsto life and are thereby given consciousness and (including Coriolanus and Egmont), Beethovenenlightenment by the god Apollo at Parnassus . The was primarily an orchestral and chamber musictwo statues become the focus, while Prometheus composer .TheCreaturesofPrometheusishimself is largely ignored .Beethovens only ballet; his frustration with itsFor Beethoven, the whole appeal of this ballet egotistical choreographer Salvatore Vigan, thelay in the character of Prometheus himself . He Empress Maria Theresas court ballet master,had no interest in writing a musical vehicle for effectively squelched any further interest he mayVigan and his wife to parade their talents . An have had in the genre . early admirer of Napoleon, Beethoven also saw Beethoven was initially drawn to the balletsin Prometheus qualities he associated with the central figure, the Titan Prometheus . AccordingFrench general . Napoleon styled himself as an to Greek mythology, Prometheus defied the godsAge of Enlightenment knight in shining armor by bringing literacy and the arts to humanity, aswho rescued the downtrodden; his actions echoed well as the basic element of fire . Such a heroicthe battle cry of the French Revolution, Liberty, symbol appealed to Beethoven, who saw inEquality, Fraternity . Inspired by Napoleons early Prometheus qualities of his own personality: acareer, Beethoven began writing in 1803 what native rebelliousness and idealistic nature . (Inbecame his Third Symphony . The Eroica, to the story, Zeus punished Prometheus for hiswhom he dedicated it (Beethoven later repudiated arrogance by chaining him to Mt . Olympus andNapoleon and removed the dedication from the causing a vulture to tear out his liver; each dayscore after he heard the news in the spring of the liver was magically renewed so the voracious1804 that Napoleon had declared himself Emperor raptorcouldcontinuefeasting .Prometheusof France) .endured this punishment until Hercules scaledThe music of the Overture opens with several the mountain and killed the vulture) . chords full of anticipatory tension, followed by BeethovenandVigansideasaboutThea slow introduction . After the introduction, the Creatures of Prometheus clashed . Vigan wasmusic shifts without pause to the main thematic more interested in showing off his skill and thatmaterial, which is full of the lively rhythmic energy of his wife, Mademoiselle Cassentini, herself athat became Beethovens trademark . Neither the noted dancer than in portraying the Prometheuscomplete music for the ballet nor the ballet itself story . Accordingly, Vigan outlined a plot in whichis performed today; only the overture survives in Prometheus becomes a peripheral generic cre- the orchestral repertoire . 16Santa Rosa SymphonyRESIDENT ORCHESTRA|WEILL HALL, THE GREEN MUSIC CENTER'