Persian born composer André Hossein (1905-1983) belatedly entered into French film scoring thanks to his son Robert, who facilitated both his assignment to the films in which he held an important role and the many others that he directed himself in the1950s and 1960s.
André Hossein favored small jazz ensembles for his movie scores, as much to meet the demands of the films that were entrusted to him as for budgetary reasons. However, Pierre Gaspard-Huit's Shéhérazade (1963) provided Hossein with a golden opportunity to demonstrate the scope of his film composing talent under ideal conditions: a large budget to work with and in a musical style that allowed him to reconnect with his cultural roots.
Co-produced by France, Italy and Spain, shot in glorious 70mm, Shéhérazade takes place in a colorful, exotic setting inspired by the book The Thousand and One Nights (The Arabian Nights). The story is centered on the forbidden love of Princess Shéhérazade (Anna Karina) for the Knight Renaud (Gérard Barray), who will be persecuted by both the jealous Caliph of Bagdad and his disloyal Grand Vizier.
Hossein’s symphonic score remains one of the major assets of Shéhérazade. The record company Barclay released a few exceprts at the time on a 45rpm EP, a usual practice, and, a much rarer occurrence in France, an almost complete version on 33rpm LP. As was done for the music of George Garvarentz for Le rat d’Amérique, produced the same year, Barclay pressed a small number of copies of Shéhérazade's album in true stereo.
In 2015 Disques Cinémusique reissued on CD the rare stereo album of the soundtrack to Le Rat d'Amérique. We do the same with Shéhérazade because this is an enchanting score by an underrated composer which, after over 50 years since it was created, deserves, to be better known by all film music fans. Our limited edition of 350 copies comes with a lavish 16-page color booklet with liner notes by producer Clément Fontaine. -DISQUES CINEMUSIQUE
01 Prégénérique Shéhérazade 1:21
02 Générique 2:27
03 Bataille de Zaccar 2:58
04 Chant des Cavaliers Francs - Thème de Renaud 2:30
05 Sonnerie d'olifant – Arrivée des barques 2:02
06 Ballet 1:33
07 Fête dans les rues de Bagdad 1:02
08 Ballet des jeunes filles 1:19
09 Danse de Shéhérazade 2:33
10 Chant des cavaliers Francs 1:57
11 Olifant pour la sentence de mort - Fuite dans le désert - Renaud à bout de forces 4:53
12 Shéhérazade part vers Bagdad 1:37
13 Départ de Renaud 1:06
14 Caravane des Francs 1:20
15 Tempête de sable 2:25
16 Bataille 3:13
17 Finale 3:41
Total Disc Time: 38:07