Watch again: Beethoven’s Prometheus

Stephen Fry looking at camera, wearing coat and red tie

Philharmonia Sessions: Beethoven's Prometheus

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An ancient Greek creation story tells of Prometheus, who breathed life into lumps of clay to create human beings, and stole fire from the gods to give them light and understanding.

Beethoven wrote his ballet score for a production of The Creatures of Prometheus in 1801, in just eleven days. It was one of his most popular works throughout his lifetime. Beyond the well-known Overture lies music of Classical grace, including the theme that later became the Finale of the ‘Eroica’ Symphony.

“★★★★★ Beautifully filmed and faultless playing from the Philharmonia”.

Richard Morrison, The Times

In the ballet, Prometheus calls on Apollo, god of music and dance, the Muses, and a host of other deities to teach his Creatures what it is to be human. To guide us through this timeless but also timely story, our Principal Conductor Esa-Pekka Salonen is joined by Beethoven superfan Stephen Fry. He retells the myth, and the story of the ballet, in a new script by Gerard McBurney, with whimsical animation by Hillary Leben.

Read the full programme notes here.

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