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Walt Disney's Fantasia Original recording remastered, Soundtrack


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Fantasia
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Audio CD, Original recording remastered, Soundtrack, July 31, 2001
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Walt Disney's Fantasia + Fantasia 2000: An Original Walt Disney Records Soundtrack + The Jungle Book
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

In great using and working condition.

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It's hard to believe now that Walt Disney's bold 1940 impressionistic experiment in wedding then-state-of-the-art animation with classical music was a rather resounding failure upon its release. The cliché proves the rule: Fantasia was decades ahead of its time (Disney even launched a "psychedelic"-themed rerelease campaign in the late '60s). It's even harder to fathom that then-Disney management spent over a million dollars in the early '80s replacing the muscular Leopold Stokowski score with a digitally recorded clone, then another undisclosed fortune to digitize Leo and put him back alongside Mickey at the conductor's podium in the '90s! This much-traveled Stokowski score will gain no points for subtlety (a symphonic Shaq attack is more like it), but it was Walt's first--and only!--choice and has never sounded better. --Jerry McCulley

Listen to Samples and Buy MP3s

Songs from this album are available to purchase as MP3s. Click on "Buy MP3" or view the MP3 Album.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         


Disc 1:

Samples
Song TitleArtist Time Price
listen  1. Toccata And Fugue In D Minor, BWV 565Leopold Stokowski 9:25$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen  2. The Nutcracker Suite, Op. 71A, Dance Of The Sugar Plum FairyLeopold Stokowski 2:36$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen  3. The Nutcracker Suite, Op. 71A, Chinese DanceLeopold Stokowski 1:03$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen  4. The Nutcracker Suite, Op. 71A, Dance Of The Reed FlutesLeopold Stokowski 1:49$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen  5. The Nutcracker Suite, Op. 71A, Arabian DanceLeopold Stokowski 3:15$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen  6. The Nutcracker Suite, Op. 71A, Russian DanceLeopold Stokowski 1:07$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen  7. The Nutcracker Suite, Op. 71A, Waltz Of The FlowersLeopold Stokowski 4:27$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen  8. The Sorcerer's ApprenticeLeopold Stokowski 9:19$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen  9. Rite Of SpringLeopold Stokowski22:24Album Only


Disc 2:

Samples
Song TitleArtist Time Price
listen  1. Symphony No. 6 ("Pastoral"), Op. 68, I Allegro Ma Non TroppoLeopold Stokowski 4:39$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen  2. Symphony No. 6 ("Pastoral"), Op. 68, II Andante Molto MossoLeopold Stokowski 6:25$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen  3. Symphony No. 6 ("Pastoral"), Op. 68, III Allegro/IV Allegro/V AllegrettoLeopold Stokowski10:58Album Only
listen  4. Dance Of The Hours From The Opera "La Gioconda"Leopold Stokowski12:15Album Only
listen  5. A Night On Bald MountainLeopold Stokowski 7:25$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen  6. Ave Maria, Op. 52 No. 6Leopold Stokowski 6:29$1.29  Buy MP3 

Product Details

  • Audio CD (July 31, 2001)
  • Original Release Date: January 6, 1942
  • Number of Discs: 2
  • Format: Original recording remastered, Soundtrack
  • Label: Walt Disney Records
  • ASIN: B000001M4K
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (82 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #8,497 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

I loved the movie and really love the music from it.
K. Lovering
The sound quality on the original is noticeably better than the re-master.
Kim Hall
I got the CD to listen to the music when away from the TV.
Robert Schwartz

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

63 of 63 people found the following review helpful By Mark Hite on May 1, 2006
Format: Audio CD
For fans of FANTASIA this CD is a nice companion to the DVD. You can relive the magic of the film with the audio tracks of the amazingly vivid and expressive performances of Leopold Stokowski and the Philadelphia Orchestra.

Those who just listen to the CD will probably be puzzled by the somewhat odd sound of the recording. These tracks were never intended for home listening. The selections for FANTASIA, with one exception, were recorded in 1939 in Philadelphia on film using a pioneering multitrack system. At a time when stereo recording was still just an experiment at Bell Labs, Disney recorded Stokowski and the Philly Orch using four or more different tracks (all on separate film reels) for a multi-dimensional audio experience. The resulting "Fantasound" was only ever presented at just a few select theatres at the original FANTASIA "road-show" engagements.

This revolutionary sound recording sadly has mostly been lost. When FANTASIA was put into general release, the film was cut and the "Fantasound" soundtracks were mixed down to the standard mono track of films of the time. The mono version persisted through multiple releases while the original multitrack masters decayed or disappeared altogether.

The present CD and DVD soundtracks derive from Disney's engineers recent restoration of the surviving sound elements to recreate something of the magic of the lost original. We can thank them for the effort and enjoy these exciting performances in what is probably the best sound they can be found in today. Although the best way to hear it is in the surround 5.1 tracks on the DVD. The fade effects as the sound moves around to match the screen images can sound very peculiar when the recording is listened to alone.
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30 of 31 people found the following review helpful By J. Douglas Benson on January 19, 2010
Format: Audio CD
Yes, it's poor-quality sound; originally recorded in the 1930s on FILM SOUNDTRACKS--not even 78 records! Recording tape had not even been invented yet. It was a huge experiment: Disney's engineers made a multitrack recording which was to be played through early 'surround-sound' speakers in large theaters. This predated regular stereo audio by 20 years. Sitting in a theater hearing the audio spill out all around you, bouncing around the room and intermingling with the sound from the other speakers, it was an awesome experience. Also, the original version had odd 'special effects' panning in some places, sending various parts of the orchestra sailing around the theater. Again, it was a cool effect in the room, but a 'real orchestra' could never do that.

Unfortunately, when all this is mixed down to a 2-track recording and presented in a clean digital format, every idiosyncrasy of the original recording is presented right along with it. 1930s film soundtracks are noisy and grainy-sounding. The oddball panning creates strange phasing problems. If you are expecting to hear a pristeen 'serious' recording, you will be disappointed. I hear it as a nostalgic recording, reminding me how it 'felt' to be in that theater watching such an important piece of cinematic history. I also approach it as a pioneering feat of technical production, given the time period from which it comes. It really doesn't deserve the trashing all these people are giving it. It is what it is, and it ain't what it aint! Don't expect a hamburger to taste like a steak.
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21 of 24 people found the following review helpful By Pope on November 3, 2006
Format: Audio CD
I agree with the numerous reviewers who bemoan the questionable sound quality on these CDs. FANTASIA was revolutionary for its time, featuring multitrack "Fantasound" audio 13 years before the first "stereo" films were released. In the opinions of many, FANTASIA was one of Disney's greatest moments, and it remains a visual masterpiece 66 years after its initial release. The music in the film was performed by the Philadelphia Orchestra under the direction of Leopold Stokowski, who was one of the (if not THE) most prominent conductors in the country at the time. The Fantasound recordings must have indeed been impressive to say the least, if one was fortunate enough to see the film in one of the few theatres where it was presented as such. However, since the audio equipment necessary for Fantasound was very expensive for theatres to install, the audio tracks were mixed to conventional monaural for general theatrical release. The mono soundtrack has remained through subsequent rereleases; sadly, the multitrack Fantasound masters and release prints are lost or no longer exist, period. When the film was rereleased in 1982, it was presented with an all new digital soundtrack recorded by Irwin Kostal with an uncredited orchestra. While the original Stokowski performances are the preferred versions PERFORMANCE-WISE, the new recording nevertheless allowed the music to be once again experienced in multi-channel stereo the way it was intended.

For the film's 50th anniversary theatrical (and subsequent home video) release in 1990, Disney utilized the monaural Stokowski tracks along with other surviving sources and production records to try to recreate the Fantasound effect as closely as possible.
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