The Sorcerer's Apprentice offers a beautifully simple way of exploring the complexities of cultural transmission. At one end stands Goethe's ballad Der Zauberlehrling (1799), available in several translations on the internet; at the other Mickey Mouse misbehaves in Disney's Fantasia (1941), overwhelmed by the flood he can no longer control. In between comes Paul Dukas's marvellously ingenious orchestral score (1897). Listen to the atmospheric incantations at the start, the broom coming to life, the increasing orchestral activity as more water pours in, the doubling of the theme for the split broom, and the sorcerer's sonorous return. Enjoy the poem, the film and the music that links them.
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