web analytics
May 26, 2015 / 8 Sivan, 5775
At a Glance
Sections
Sponsored Post


No Mickey Mouse Tale: Dukas, Goethe, And The Maharal


Singer-Saul-Jay-logo-NEW

Displayed here is an original musical quote of The Sorcerer’s Apprentice, written and signed by its Jewish composer, Paul Abraham Dukas.

In an encyclopedic history of the Golem going back to early rabbinic commentaries, the historian Gershom Scholem cites a report that German poet Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, who learned about the Golem in a visit to the Prague Jewish ghetto, based his cautionary tale Der Zauberlehrling on the story of the Golem of Prague. Dukas, who was thoroughly educated in Jewish religion and lore and surely knew the Golem story, based his famous symphonic poem L’apprenti Sorcier (The Sorcerer’s Apprentice) – which was subtitled Scherzo after a Ballad by Goethe – upon the Goethe narrative.Singer-062714

The similarities between Goethe’s Sorcerer’s Apprentice and the Golem of Prague are stark and unmistakable, and the theme of both stories involves the adverse repercussions arising out of the uncontrolled unleashing of magical power. With virtuous intentions, the Apprentice brings a broomstick to life and the Maharal brings life to a clump of clay to protect the Jews of Prague, but both creations ultimately run amok. The Apprentice charges the broomstick with the chore of fetching water for his bath and, in a lesser-known episode in the life of the Golem of Prague, the Golem was ordered to fetch water but never told to stop; in both instances the result is a horrendous flood. The Apprentice uses an ax to split the broomstick in two, ultimately leading to a frightening procession of hundreds of brooms bringing water from the well. At last, the Apprentice cries out for assistance, as do the Jews of Prague, and the Sorcerer himself restores the peace, as does the Maharal.

Dukas’s Apprentice, first published in 1897, was already quite well known and popular when it achieved immortality through its inclusion in Walt Disney’s animated film “Fantasia” (1940), in which Mickey Mouse famously plays the Apprentice. Der Zauberlehrling, which remains extremely popular in the German-speaking world, is often cited to describe a situation where a person summons help or uses allies that he cannot control, especially in politics.

Paul Abraham Dukas (1865-1935), unusually gifted in orchestration and recognized as one of the most sensitive and insightful critics of the era, is particularly noted for his rhythmic mastery and vivid orchestration. Although he wrote a fair amount of music, he was a perfectionist who destroyed many of his pieces out of dissatisfaction with them. As a result, only a few of his compositions remain. His first surviving work of note is the energetic Symphony in C (1896), and he wrote two complex and technically demanding large-scale piano works, a Sonata in E-flat minor (1901) and Variations, Interlude and Finale on a Theme of Rameau (1902). Other works include the opera Ariadne and Bluebeard and the oriental ballet La Péri (1912), his final major work. In the last decades of his life, he became well known as a teacher of composition with many famous students.

About the Author: Saul Jay Singer, a nationally recognized legal ethicist, serves as senior legal ethics counsel with the District of Columbia Bar. He is a collector of extraordinary original Judaica documents and letters, and his column appears in The Jewish Press every other week. Mr. Singer welcomes comments at saul.singer@verizon.net.


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

No Responses to “No Mickey Mouse Tale: Dukas, Goethe, And The Maharal”

Comments are closed.

Current Top Story
Former Israel Ambassador to the UN Dore Gold.
Bibi Seals Nationalist Policy with Dore Gold Heading Foreign Ministry
Latest Sections Stories
Schonfeld-logo1

To what extent is your child displaying defiance?

Respler-052215

This therapist kept focusing on how “I could do better,” never on how we could make the marriage work.

Mistrust that has lingered after the fiasco in Ferguson, Missouri, has edged the issue forward.

“The observance of a kosher diet is a key tenet of Judaism, and one which no state has the right to deny,” said Nathan Diament, executive director for public policy of the Orthodox Union.

Two weeks of intense learning in the classroom about Israel culminated with Yom Ha’Atzmaut. Students attended sessions with their teachers and learned about history, culture, military power, advocacy, slang, cooking, and more.

The nations of the world left the vessel to sit rotting in the water during one of the coldest winters in decades and with its starving and freezing passengers abandoned.

Rabbi Yisroel Edelman, the synagogue’s spiritual leader, declared, “The Young Israel of Deerfield Beach is looking forward to our partnership with the OU. The impact the OU has brought to Jewish communities throughout the country through its outreach and educational resources is enormous and we anticipate the same for our community in Deerfield Beach as well.”

Our goal here is to offer you recipes that you can make on Yom Tov with ingredients you might just have in the house. Enjoy and chag sameach!

Gardening can be a healthy, wholesome activity for the whole family.

Unfortunately, the probability is that he will not see a reason to change as he has been acting this way for a long time and clearly has some issues with respecting women.

All of these small changes work their way into the framework of the elephant and the rider because they are helping the elephant move forward.

More Articles from Saul Jay Singer
Singer-Saul-Jay-logo-NEW

The nations of the world left the vessel to sit rotting in the water during one of the coldest winters in decades and with its starving and freezing passengers abandoned.

Singer-Saul-Jay-logo-NEW

An avid and unapologetic eugenicist, Shaw suggested that the Nazis “make it punishable incest for a Jew to marry anyone but an Aryan.”

Jewish Democrats did not entirely trust the son of Joseph Kennedy, a man broadly considered to be both anti-Semitic and pro-Nazi.

French thinkers of the Enlightenment were generally not pro-Semitic, to say the least.

Szold was among the founders and leaders (she served on its executive committee) of Ichud (“Unity”), a political group that campaigned against the creation of an independent, sovereign Jewish state in Eretz Yisrael.

The sense of the painting is that the old man has sacrificed himself to save the boy, as whatever meager provisions exist have been provided to the child.

It was only in the reign of George III (1760-1820) that Jews became socially acceptable in Britain, and Nathan became music master to Princess Charlotte and musical librarian to King George IV.

Agudat Yisrael led a forceful protest in the Knesset deploring the fact that these defenders of Israel had never been given a proper Jewish burial.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/sections/features/feautures-on-jewish-world/no-mickey-mouse-tale-dukas-goethe-and-the-maharal/2014/06/25/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: