Paul Dukas completed The Sorcerer's Apprentice in the spring of 1897, and it was performed for the first time on May 18 of that year in Paris. On that occasion, the composer conducted the orchestra of the Société Nationale de Musique. If ever a piece of music was victim of its own success, it is surely Paul Dukas' L'aprenti sorcier. It scored an immediate success and established Dukas, who was not yet 32, as one of France's important new composers. Its programmatic representation of a supernatural tale proved so vivid that few listeners could fail to imagine the unfolding of its narrative from hearing Dukas' music. It was precisely the vividness of Dukas' music that prompted animators at the Walt Disney studio to select The Sorcerer's Apprentice for one of the episodes in Fantasia, the 1940 film.