The Sorcerer’s Apprentice
Paul Dukas (arr. Trotter)
Dukas’ most famous tone poem, The Sorcerer’s Apprentice, carefully and faithfully depicts many details in the 1797 ballade by Goethe (Die Zauberlehrling). Dukas used as his inspiration brooms coming to life, fetching water in buckets to prepare a bath, and the overriding theme of how the apprentice may think he is ready to be the master, but the master still knows better (a symbol for Dukas as musical master overseeing his composition students). Similarly, Trotter’s own transcription of this popular piece for a large pipe organ no doubt brings its own conjuring process to bring to life Dukas’ brooms, which multiply as the music gradually crescendos.