The Creatures of Prometheus, a ballet produced in Vienna in 1801, was not well received at its first performance. Today, aside from the overture, the ballet music is rarely heard. This work was composed during a time of intense personal crisis for Beethoven. In 1801 he wrote a friend, "I am leading a miserable life; for almost two years now I have been avoiding all social functions simply because I feel incapable of telling people that I am deaf." The ballet is based on the myth of the god Prometheus, who stole the fire from the heavens and gave it to mankind, along with the knowledge of arts and sciences. This recording is part of Leonard Bernstein's Beethoven cycle with the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra from the early 1980s.