Friday, June 19, 2015

Righteous Classical Music: The Sorcerer's Apprentice by Paul Dukas

Oh yeah, who doesn't like The Sorcerer's Apprentice? Unlike some classical music, this piece is usually considered pretty accessible. Mostly due to it's use in Fantasia, but it was also very popular before that too.
Now, this piece is what we call a Scherzo (Italian for 'I Joke', or 'I Play'), and I think that is a really good way to describe it! The music ranges from very mysterious to light and playful, and eventually becomes dark and uncontrollable. This is of course, due to the piece's nature as a tone poem! We all know the story, which is basically about a young magician who decides to try out some of his master's tricks, and it eventually gets way out of hand.
In both terms of Mood and Technical stuff, this piece is tricky. On the Mood side, we have to create a playful, sometimes foreboding, always enchanting atmosphere. On the technical side, you have to deal with accidentals peppered all over the place, and time signatures like 9/16.
The orchestration for this piece is very good. There is a terrific part for Bassoon, and lots of action for the Percussion section, as well! Also a great part for our Chummy, the Piccolo. ;)

Next Up!: Gymnopedie by Erik Satie

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