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Beethoven’s «Eroica»

Thematic Studies- Translated by Ernest Bernhardt-Kabisch

Constantin Floros

With this study the author «opened up a previously locked door of Beethoven research» (Martin Geck). The book presents conclusive answers to questions that had occupied critics for more than a century. It makes clear what exactly Beethoven and his contemporaries meant by the term «heroic». It proves that the «heroic-allegorical ballet» The Creatures of Prometheus is a key work for an understanding of the Eroica, and shows that Beethoven associated the First Consul of the French Republic, Napoleon Bonaparte, with the mythical figure of the Titan Prometheus. The book draws on interdisciplinary researches in the areas of Greek Mythology, Napoleonic History and Comparative Literature.


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89 Abbreviations AfMf Archiv für Musikforschung AfMw Archiv für Musikwissenschaft BJ Beethoven-Jahrbuch DTÖ Denkmäler der Tonkunst in Österreich GS Richard Wagner: Sämtliche Schriften und Dichtungen. Volksausgabe, 16 vols., Leipzig n. d. JbP Jahrbuch der Bibliothek Peters Kunze Stefan Kunze (Ed.): Ludwig van Beethoven. Die Werke im Spiegel der Zeit. Gesammelte Konzertberichte und Renzensionen bis 1830, Laaber 1987 MGG Musik in Geschichte und Gegenwart, 1st edition ed. Friedrich Blume Mk Die Musik MQ The Musical Quarterly MR The Music Review NBJ Neues Beethoven-Jahrbuch NZfM Neue Zeitschrift für Musik SMZ Schweizerische Musikzeitung StMw Studien zur Musikwissenschaft TDR Alexander Wheelock Thayer, Hermann Deiters and Hugo Riemann: Ludwig van Beethovens Leben, 5 vols, Leipzig 1917-1923 ZfM Zeitschrift für Musik ZfMw Zeitschrift für Musikwissenschaft ZIMG Zeitschrift der Internationalen Musikgesellschaft 91 Notes Foreword 1 That accusation was made against me, e.g., by Herbert Unverricht in a review (Die Musik- forschung, 34 [1981], 371f.); its arbitrariness forced me to publish a reply (ibid., 35 [1982], 114f.). 2 See my book, Humanism, Love and Music (Frankfurt a. M. et al: Peter Lang, 2012), 3, 11f. (German original edition: Der Mensch, die Liebe und die Musik [Zürich and Hamburg, 2000], 16, 28f.). 3 Der Spiegel, 33:16 (April, 1979), 230-232. 4 Harry Goldschmidt, Beethoven. Werkeinführungen. Music und Musiktheater (Leipzig: Reclam, 1975). I. Previous Hypotheses on the Subject of the Eroica 1 Quoted from Erich H. Müller, “Beethoven und Simrock”. Simrock- Jahrbuch, 2 (1929), 10-62; p. 27. 2 For details...

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