PAUL DUKAS (1865-1935) "L'Apprenti sorcier"
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Uploaded on Feb 8, 2011
Taken from the Dublin In international Piano Spectacular
All seven previous winners in a once-off performance.
PHILIPPE CASSARD (1988),
PAVEL NERSESSIAN (1991),
DAVIDE FRANCESCHETTI (1994),
MAX LEVINSON (1997),
ALEXEI NABIOULIN (2000),
ANTTI SIIRALA (2003)
ROMAIN DESCHARMES (2006)
JOHN O'CONOR (Artistic Director)
This piece: PAUL DUKAS (1865-1935) "L'Apprenti sorcier"
Performed by all of the above
Dukas belongs to that unfortunate though distinguished group of composers remembered today by a single work. His
output was not large and he destroyed a number of creations, only some fifteen compositions survive and not all
have been published. He was born into a wealthy Parisian banking family and studied at the Conservatory, later
becoming a distinguished teacher and a music critic. His First Symphony was well received in January 1897. "L'Apprenti
sorcier" followed five months later, with its first performance by the Lamoreux Orchestra on the 18th of May.
It was inspired by a Goethe ballad, in turn is based on a story by the Greek writer Lucian (Second Century AD).
It is a scherzo: one of the finest of such creations, demonstrating Dukas's marvellous skill in musical story-telling. The
Sorcerer leaves his apprentice in charge of his laboratory with strict instructions to fetch water and to touch nothing
else. The lazy lad decides to search the magic books and casts a spell on a broom; soon he has it fetching the water
but when enough has been brought, he cannot stop it. As the laboratory begins to flood, in desperation he chops up
the broom but each separate piece takes on its own life, bringing in more and more water. Only the timely return of
the Sorcerer prevents total disaster; with one quick incantation he restores normality.
For more information on this and all things in relation to the Dublin International Piano Competition, please go to www.DIPC.ie
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