Alhambra Records is proud to present on this CD the world premiere release of Angelo Francesco Lavagnino’s complete original score for the historical comedy MADAME SANS-GENE from 1961 which gives further proof of the enormous versatility of this Italian composer.
The lavish French-Italian-Spanish co-production which was directed by veteran French filmmaker Christian-Jaque works mainly as a vehicle for its beautiful star Sophia Loren who in 1961 was at the peak of her career and who dominates almost every minute of the film with her sex appeal and her ebullient temperament. It is a rather free adaptation of the eponymous popular French stage-play which had been written in 1893 by Victorien Sardou and Emile Moreau and which was based on the life of Catherine Hubscher, an Alsacian-born laundress who used to wash Napoleon’s clothes when he was still a common corporal during the time of the French Revolution. She married Francois Lefebvre (in the film version played by Robert Hossein), an army sergeant who was later elevated by Napoleon to the rank of Duke of Danzig, and because of her behaviour, free speech and lack of manners at court got the nickname “Madame Sans-Gene” (“Woman Without Embarrassment”).
1961 was certainly one of the busiest years in Lavagnino’s career and he scored more than a dozen pictures throughout this year, MADAME SANS-GENE being one of them. His melodic facility is as striking as ever and the score offers a cornucopia of tuneful courtly dances and military marches as well as a sumptuous romantic love theme for Catherine and Francois. However, from the beginning with its boisterous comic opera-like overture the mood here is more light-hearted and festive than dramatic, with Lavagnino trying to capture the spirit of the era and often with a humorous twinkle in his eye.
One of the highlights of the score is the music for the gala dinner at court. A glamorous regal march with a middle part for soft woodwinds accompanies the Duke and the Duchess’ entry into the Tuileries which is then followed by a charming waltz theme which in the further course functions not only as source music, but also delineates the romance of the couple and their emotional feelings for each other.
We hope that many fans of the composer and of classic Italian film music will enjoy this delightful, lively and varied symphonic score.
This exciting CD project - the eighth CD in our Lavagnino series - has only been possible thanks to the generous support of the three daughters of the composer - Bianca, Iudica and Alessandra Lavagnino -, who still had open reel tape copies of the original master tapes in their personal archive which we were allowed to use.
Our CD edition which contains an 12-page booklet with extensive liner notes and numerous colour stills from the movie will be limited to 300 copies. -ALHAMBRA RECORDS
1. - Main Title 2:00
2. - The Royal Swiss Guard /Catherine Asks Napoleon for Help 1:30
3. - Catherine And Francois (Love Scene at Night) 5:11
4. - Francois‘ Departure 0:53
5. - Napoleon`s Troops in Italy 1:24
6. - Catherine And the ‘Girls‘ 1:29
7. - Catherine Meets Francois Again /Captured by the Austrian Army 3:39
8. - Dance in the French Camp 1:04
9. - The Gunpowder / The Explosion 1:56
10. - Napoleon`s Troops Attack 1:56
11. - The Rise of Napoleon 0:33
12. - Napoleon And Fouche 2:06
13. - Catherine Learns Courtly Manners 3:10
14. - Catherine And Francois Enter the Court 3:06
15. - Catherine And the Noblewomen 3:33
16. - The Emperor / Catherine And Francois 2:15
17. - Scandal at the Court 1:21
18. - The Parade 3:15
19. - Francois` Disappointment 1:20
20. - Waiting for Napoleon 1:32
21. - Catherine Goes to Napoleon 1:15
22. - Finale / End Cast 1:14
23. - Harpsichord Lessons 4:42
24. - Trumpet Calls (Storming of the Tuileries) 1:25
25. - Finale / End Cast (Film Version) 1:14