We’re back with another unforgettable big-screen experience, this time a thrilling live performance of Fantasia, Walt Disney’s groundbreaking marriage of symphonic music and animation. Magnificent scenes from both Fantasia films, including Nutcracker, The Sorcerer’s Apprentice, and Dance of the Hours will be performed live by wcfsymphony to Disney’s stunningly restored footage in HD on a cinema screen. This is a perfect entertainment experience for the whole family – sharing a childhood favorite with a future generation of music lovers.
This year we’re taking a more personal approach to program notes: insights from Jason into how and why pieces were selected, followed by notes and quotes from composers and artists about their work.
Jason Weinberger: For our final concert of the year, two classic American works which need no introduction: Disney’s Fantasia films. I, like so many millions of people, first thrilled to Fantasia’s magical mix of animation and music as a child. Now I’m excited to be introducing the films to my own kids, in a live orchestra setting Walt Disney could only have dreamed of.
One surprise to me in revisiting Fantasia for this performance has been to learn just how pioneering and risky the enterprise was when Walt Disney embarked on its production in the mid-1930s. In fact, the principal reason for the existence and success of Fantasia was the powerful vision and dogged persistence of Disney himself. Below are a few of his thoughts; I recommend following the links for more on the history and influence of these remarkable films.
Walt Disney on Fantasia (from various sources): Sheer fantasy unfolds to a musical pattern: this was the original idea … In the future we will make a larger number of dance-pattern symphonies. Action controlled by a musical pattern has great charm in the realm of unreality.
I am greatly enthused over the idea [of Fantasia] and believe that the union of Stokowski and his music, together with the best of our medium, would be the means of a great success and should lead to a new style of motion picture presentation … Through this combined medium, we could do things that would be impossible through any other form of motion picture now available.
This was the birth of a new concept, a group of separate numbers - regardless of their running time - put together in a single presentation. It turned out to be a concert - something novel and of high quality.
In a profession that has been an unending voyage of discovery in the realms of color, sound, and motion, Fantasia represents our most exciting adventure. At last, we have found a way to use in our medium the great music of all times and the flood of new ideas which it inspires.
Read more about the original Fantasia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fantasia_(1940_film)
Read more about Fantasia 2000: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fantasia_2000