This 2-disc release of Herrmann's first score for Harryhausen is a lavish delight. Firstly, both discs are presented in full stereophonic sound - the full-bodied monaural descriptor being entirely wrong for the disc-1 complete score. This presentation utilizes the same remastered music stems that the Sony blu-ray disc offers, and is sonically splendid. The second disc is the original soundtrack album re-recording, all stereo except one track, and it's the familiar version that's been a collector's item for many years. The soundtrack album was conducted by Muir Mathieson, and contrary to Herrmann's opinion of it, it's a robust presentation of the original score. A masterpiece, right up there with the likes of Moross' THE BIG COUNTRY, North's SPARTACUS, Rosza's EL CID, and Jarre's LAWRENCE OF ARABIA.
While sailing with Princess Parisa to Baghdad to their wedding, Sinbad finds the Colossa Island and anchors his vessel to get supplies for the starving crew. Sinbad and his men help the magician Sokurah to escape from a Cyclops that attacks them, and Sokurah uses a magic lamp with a boy jinni to help them; however, their boat sinks and he loses the lamp. Sokurah offers a small fortune to Sinbad to return to Colossa, but he does not accept and heads to Baghdad.
Herrmann's score for Truffaut's fine film is brilliant. Lyrical, mysterious, propulsive. Full of pathos, beauty, hope. It is, simply, a wonderful score.
This delightful release, from the Indian Summer of Bernard Herrmann's recording career, always got neglected by its potential audiences, ignored by Herrmann's fans in favor of his recordings of his film music or his own classical compositions (or more conventionally familiar works such as The Planets) and missed totally by jazz listeners of a historical bent. The material contained herein is distinctly symphonic or – perhaps more accurately – concert hall jazz, the work of established composers coming to grips with and using the then-new music in their own idiom…