The Sorcerer's Apprentice (Soundtrack)

The Sorcerer's Apprentice

(Trevor Rabin)
Release Date: 
Tuesday, July 6, 2010

With the exception of today’s babies being reared on Beethoven and Mozart from the womb, I would say most children’s first exposure to Classical Music is Walt Disney’s Fantasia.  And without question, the most memorable piece is “The Sorcerer’s Apprentice,” starring Mickey Mouse.  (Granted, “Night on Bald Mountain” is way cooler, but that one scared the bejeezus out of me when I first saw it as a kid.)  And now, the classic animated short has been turned into a full length, live action film (opening July, 14th) with Jerry Bruckheimer’s go-to guy, Trevor Rabin, composing the movie’s soundtrack (available now digitally).

The album starts with Trevor Rabin’s rendition of Paul Dukas’ iconic “The Sorcerer’s Apprentice,” blending the timeless track with modern touches.  Personally, it sounds a lot like the theme got mashed up with music from the Pirates of the Caribbean.  And having such a strong and recognizable piece to work with, I would have expected Trevor to utilize it as a basis for the rest of the soundtrack.  However, I couldn’t really detect any usage of the overlying themes or instrumentation while listening to the other tracks.  Not to say the music is bad per se, as it is emotionally evocative.  You can tell which pieces likely accompany scenes of action, romance, comedy, wonderment, etc.  However, the rest of the music is unremarkable compared to the well known main theme.  Which I find surprising, since Rabin should know how to compose a catchy ditty, as he primarily wrote Yes’ biggest hit, “Owner of a Lonely Heart.”  And not only that, but he had one of the most recognizable pieces of music to work with as a source.  So I will say I was a little disappointed that there didn’t seem to be as much magic in the rest of the music.

But overall, does the soundtrack work?  Not having seen the movie, I find it difficult to completely answer that question.  Yet I will say from what I hear, it does the job of helping to tell a story.  Now how good of a story is going to be told is something you’ll have to judge for yourself when the movie is released.  Ultimately though, I am guessing that the target market for this soundtrack is rather narrow anyway.  It will most likely appeal to those Harry Potter loving young adults, the Disney completists and all the score geeks out there.  Probably a reason why this album is only available digitally, in order to keep those production costs down.  Now should you go out and legally download a copy of The Sorcerer’s Apprentice soundtrack?  If you like the movie, then by all means.  Otherwise I suggest you should just pick up the soundtrack to Fantasia if you don’t already own it.

Review by John Piedrahita