Prometheus in Music: Representations of the Myth in the Romantic Era
The ancient Greek myth of Prometheus enjoyed unprecedented popularity during the Romantic era. An international coterie of writers engaged with the legend, while composers such as Beethoven, Reichardt, Schubert, Wolf, Liszt, Halévy, Saint-Saëns, Fauré, Parry, Goldmark and Bargiel based works of diverse genres on the fable. Paul Bertagnolli charts the progress of the myth during the nineteenth century, as it articulates an extraordinary variety of issues pertaining to culture, society, aesthetics and philosophy. Individual chapters demonstrate that the legend served as a vehicle to express opinions on diverse and remarkable subjects. Composers often resorted to varied and unorthodox musical techniques in order to reflect such subjects. These striking traits of musical compositions, their literary sources and the criticism that they inspired offer compelling testimony to the impact of the Prometheus myth on the Romantic imagination.
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Gesture and Convention in Beethovens Ballet daction
Three Settings of Goethes Transgressive Ode
Liszts Prometheus Music
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accordingly Aeschylus allegro arpeggios atheism augmented sixth chord B-flat ballet Bargiel bass line Beethoven Beethoven Die Geschopfe Beziers Brahms cadence cantata choral chorus chromatic chromaticism coda composers contredanse creatures critics dance declamation descending diminished seventh chords dominant dotted rhythms episode Example fanfares Faure Faure's Franz Liszt French fugue German Geschopfe des Prometheus Goethe Goethe's Goldmark Greek Halevy Hanslick harmonies Herder's Holmes human Ibid introduction's lament libretto likewise line's Liszt literary lyrical major mankind melody minor motive myth myth's neighbor tones nineteenth-century nonetheless Oceanids ode's opera orchestral overture overture's Paris Parnassian Parry Parry's passage pastoral pedal pedal tone phrases piano principal theme Promethean Prometheus Unbound quartal harmonies recitative Reichardt repeated romantic Saint-Saens Scenes Schubert score Shelley Shelley's sixth chord solo sonata sonata form songs stanza strings subordinate theme symphonic poem timpani Titan's tonal tones tonic tremolos triad Vienna violins vocal line Wagner Wagnerian Wolf woodwinds Zeus