The Sorcerer’s Apprentice



Paul Dukas spent his entire life in Paris as a greatly respected teacher and composer. He showed his musical aptitude early, teaching himself to play piano, and entered the Conservatoire in 1882, where he proved to be an excellent student, winning the second Prix de Rome in 1888. Though he had to aband on his formal training for a time to serve in the army, he turned that period to good use by studying many of the classical works of music, the basis upon which he later built his own compositions. (He later edited several volumes of works by Rameau, Beethoven, Couperin and Scarlatti.) After his stint in the military, he completed the overture Polyeucte, his first work to be performed publicly. The Symphony in C major followed in 1896, and he gained international recognition a year later with The Sorcerer's Apprentice.

Dukas Audio Selections

Complete Works of Dukas

1891    Overture to Polyeucte

1896   Symphony in C Major

1897   The Sorcerer’s Apprentice

1901   Piano Sonata

1902   Variations on a Theme of Rameau

1906   Ariane et Barbe-bleue, opera

1906   Villanelle for horn and piano

1908   Prélude élégiaque for piano

1909   Vocalise-étude for voice and piano

1912   La Péri, ballet

1920   La plainte, au loin, du faune…. for piano

1924   Sonnet de Ronsard, for voice and piano

Dukas Video Links

Selections from La Péri

One of the most important works by Paul Dukas is his ballet La Péri, composed in 1912 for the famous Ballets Russes. Here are some selections from the ballet. Does the music sound French or German to you? Do you hear some Rimsky-Korsakov influences at play? Stravinsky Firebird?

Fanfare from La Péri

A very popular work by Dukas is his Fanfare from La Péri, which is heard here. It is scored for the brass section alone. Many arrangements have been made of this short introduction, as we shall soon see!

Fanfare from La Péri

Or do you possibly prefer this version?

Villanelle for Horn

For our last Dukas video we have the Villanelle for Horn, heard here with orchestral accompaniment. This is a very popular piece for all horn players!

Paul Dukas


CYS Performance History

  1. Bullet May 2011

  2. Bullet Nov. 2016