"Look," the fellow in the wine-colored trousers, collarless shirt and scuffed moccasins was saying to Leopold Stokowski and Deems Taylor in one of the cork-lined conference rooms of Walt Disney Productions' fabulous new studio, "I really don't know beans about music."
The $2,000,000 production Fantasia, designed to visualize, animate and interpret a two-and-a-half-hour concert by Stokowski and the Philadelphia Orchestra, was just getting under way. The conductor looked at Deems Taylor, who looked the other way.
"That's all right, Walt," genial-voiced Taylor said soothingly, "When I first started, I thought Bach wrote love stuff – like Romeo and Juliet. You know, I thought maybe Toccata was in love with Fugue."
Walt roared. He knew all about Bach‘s Toccata and Fugue in D Minor. It was going to be in the picture. "Say, let's hear Beethoven's Sixth Symphony again," he said to the man standing by a phonograph. And then, a few minutes later, "You know, I think this picture will make Beethoven."
Stokowski hesitated a moment. Then, "That's right, Walt," he agreed. "In a certain sense, it will. Some who have never heard his name will see this."
And they have. Millions right now are flocking to Fantasia, to be shaken to their shoes and thrilled to the core by the teeth-gnashing, soul-storming cyclonic interpretations of Disney, who, although no musicologist, is one of the most musically sensitive people Stokowski says he's ever known. And Deems Taylor, vitriolic in his condemnation of the so-ca1led "dow-ager" program notes for concerts, long-winded affairs explaining the music measure by measure, couldn't be more elated over Disney's dynamically fresh interpretations. All except for one little thing.
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