Sorcerer's Apprentice, The (arr Curnow)

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Paul Dukas

Paul Dukas (arr. James Curnow)

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General Info

Year: 1897 /
Duration: c. 3:00
Difficulty: III (see Ratings for explanation)
Original Medium: Orchestra
Publisher: Hal Leonard
Cost: Score and Parts (print) - $70.00   |   Score Only (print) - $5.00


Full Score
C Piccolo
B-flat Soprano Clarinet I-II-III
E-flat Alto Clarinet
B-flat Bass Clarinet
E-flat Alto Saxophone I-II
B-flat Tenor Saxophone
E-flat Baritone Saxophone
B-flat Trumpet I-II-III
Horn in F I-II
Trombone I-II
Bass Trombone
String Bass
Percussion I-II-III

(percussion detail desired)


None discovered thus far.

Program Notes

The basis of this "scherzo" (a term used deprecatingly by Dukas to describe this work) was a ballad by Goethe, based in turn on a tale by the Greek poet Lucian (A.D. 120-180). The ballad concerns a magician's apprentice who experiments with his master's magic formula and transforms a broomstick into a "robot" which begins drawing water from the well and filling all the pitchers in the house. Unfortunately, the broom overdoes it; the room is flooded and the apprentice forgets the stopping formula. In desperation he splits the broom in two, but now both parts begin carrying water and the flooding increases. The apprentice screams for help, the sorcerer returns, speaks the magic word, and the calamity is averted.

Although Dukas was anything but enthusiastic about this work, he played the manuscript for some of his musical friends on a piano in Brussels, and they were so impressed by the pictorial quality and animation of the music that they persuaded the composer to orchestrate it for performance. The Sorcerer's Apprentice was premiered by the Société Nationale in Paris in 1897. Its popularity has continued to increase ever since on concert programs, records and even films; Disney's classic Fantasia and his cartoon with Mickey Mouse in the title role have made his "scherzo" one of the most widely known of all symphonic classics.

- Program Note from Program Notes for Band

The Sorcerer's Apprentice is a symphonic poem by the French composer Paul Dukas, completed in 1897. Subtitled "Scherzo after a ballad by Goethe", the piece was based on Johann Wolfgang von Goethe's 1797 poem of the same name.

By far the most performed and recorded of Dukas's works, its notable appearance in the Walt Disney 1940 animated film Fantasia has led to the piece becoming widely known to audiences outside the classical concert hall.

- Program Note from Wikipedia


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State Ratings

None discovered thus far.


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Works for Winds by This Composer