RTÉ National Symphony Orchestra LIVE teams up with the National Concert Hall to celebrate the 250th anniversary of the birth of one of the towering titans of classical music, Ludwig van Beethoven.
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David Brophy conducts The Creatures of Prometheus Overture, the concert aria Ah! perfido (Ah! deceiver), with fast-rising star soprano Sinéad Campbell-Wallace as soloist, and the First Symphony.
The performance takes place as part of RTÉ National Symphony Orchestra LIVE and as part of the National Concert Hall's Beethoven 250 Series.
A tortured figure who battled crippling deafness to compose one titanic work after another, Beethoven transformed the sound of classical music in a creative revolution, the effects of which are still being felt. He composed, he said, with the conviction that 'music should strike fire from a man'.
His only full-length ballet score, The Creatures of Prometheus was composed for the Burgtheater, Vienna in 1801. Offering proof that not every ballet score has to be sugar-coated, its Overture proved immediately popular and remains the only part of the ballet to be frequently performed in concert.
As befits a tale of errant spirits and vengeful gods, it’s a work of high drama, elevated sentiments and super-charged energy as it vividly depicts Prometheus fleeing from heaven with the sacred fire he has just stolen from the gods.
Sinéad Campbell-Wallace is a singer whose star is very much in the ascendant since shifting, through recent seasons, into fuller dramatic repertoire from that of the light-lyric soprano.
Noted for her ‘powerful but burnished soprano’ (The Guardian), she sings the passionate concert aria Ah! perfido, an emotional-filled lament by a woman deceived in love. Torn between dangerous thoughts of revenge and heart-rending feelings of desolation, it is a highwater-mark of the soprano repertoire that anticipates the dramatic punch of Verdi.
Although it owes a debt to the Classic traditions learned from Mozart and his teacher, Joseph Haydn, Beethoven’s First Symphony also announced a new approach that would radically transform all that was to follow. From its radical dissonant opening via a courtly fugue and exhilarating use of dance rhythms to its playful but pointedly effusive finale, it ushered in a new age of Romanticism and announced the presence of one of music’s great revolutionaries.
Our live presentation starts tonight, Friday, December 11th, at 7.00pm.