Beethoven composed the ballet music "Die Geschöpfe des Prometheus" during 1800–01, commissioned by the ballet master Salvatore VIganò for performances with his VIennese company. Although the ballet was initially quite successful, with almost thirty continuous performances, it did not enjoy a sustained performance tradition. Its overture, however, was a different matter: considered almost a symphonic movement in terms of orchestration, style and structure, it was often performed on its own even during Beethoven's lifetime.
In general, previous editions of this overture relied on the first print as the main source. However, the authenticity of this source cannot be convincingly proven. for this new edition, Beethoven specialist Jonathan Del Mar incorporates various manuscript sources, including a set of parts from 1803, No. 4 that has never been considered before. in this way, numerous discrepancies could be clarified.