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Rock/Pop artists have tried producing classical works in the past with competent to mediocre results. Sir Paul McCartney comes to mind, being one of the most melodic songwriters of all time. His "Liverpool Oratorio Suite" and "Ecce Cor Meum" received modest reviews. So when former Bee Gees member Robin Gibb and his son RJ stepped up to the plate to honor the 100th anniversary of the sinking of the Titanic, the skeptics were waiting.

The work is not a rock opera, an Andrew Lloyd Weber production, nor even a purely classical piece. It takes the strengths of all these elements and produces one unique experience. Its actually an ingenious idea that Robin Gibb would take his fascination of the Titanic and use it to emote an interweaving composition of absolute drama. Using the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, forty-two strong chorus members bursting forth in Latin ('Latin Mass for the Dead') and three unique soloists, 'The Titanic Requiem" comes very close to nailing a perfect movement that easily pulls emotion from the listener. The layered mixture of vocals and orchestration can be startling given that this is the first work of this kind from Robin Gibb.

Most of the pieces are somber and heartfelt without much levity. In fact, only "Farewell (The Immigrant Song)" and "Maiden Voyage" contain glimmers of happiness and hope. Soon, pieces like, "Kyrie" and "Sos (Tract)" give way to a more serious and foreboding sense. A listener may find a few of the pieces ponderous or even too grave, but perhaps that was the point; to give the listener no chance for composure given the severity in the wake of this most famous disaster. The three solo vocalist songs are truly beautiful, and the lyrics (particularly "Daybreak" and "Don't Cry Alone") suck sorrow from the gut with surprising ease. In fact, Robin Gibb's trembling "Don't Cry Alone" is one of his most startlingly aching vocals to date.

To compare the "The Titanic Requiem" to anything other than itself would be a disservice as it truly does not easily fall into any one category. It is a work from a father and son who let out all emotional stops, in severe illness and health, to deliver a truly unique and satisfying hybrid of musical compositions. "The Titanic Requiem" begs numerous listening.
11 comment32 of 32 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 2 April 2012
There's a nasty tradition of snobbery and snittery when a 'popular' musician attempts to stray into the 'classical' genre of music - I think the BBC reviewer exhibits this prejudice. The Bee Gees music has already survived and thrived over half a century. Heaven forfend, they even 'invented' disco in its most populist form, which love it or loathe it, shows real musicality. Many of us will have had our first dance at a wedding to a Bee Gees song, pieced together a broken heart, celebrated the birth of a child - 'Stayin Alive' is even recommended as the perfect tempo to perform CPR - their music is already firmly interwoven into the fabric of our lives. I suspect the 'Titanic Requiem' will be another such piece. From the sublime 'New York Symphony in C Major' with its divinely soppy theme to the glorious 'In Paradisum', this is a true classic. The love and understanding of the Ocean, and movement of 'Titanic' as she heads ever onwards to the iceberg and her doom, is both moving and profound. Listen without prejudice!
0Comment19 of 19 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 2 April 2012
Spectacular work from all involved. Many congratulations!! When I first started listening to The Bee Gees in 1967 I could never have thought that, some 45 years later, I would still be able to listen to new work from one of the Gibbs. Lucky me!!
This CD is an unbelievable step for Robin & RJ into classical territory & what a great result.
The BBC reviewer must be deaf (& dumb?) with his "pop song writer can't do classical" blinkers firmly in place when he reviewed this - ignore what he says - Buy it, play it, you will love it!!
0Comment21 of 21 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 29 March 2012
This is a breath-taking piece of music by Robin Gibb and his son RJ! I think this is going to be a real grower on multiple listens. New York Suite In C Major is a real stunner of a piece as is the thumping Triumph (Shipbuilding). When we get it the haunting and moment when the Titanic ill fatefully hit the iceberg - Kyrie was the moment i thought this is an outstanding piece of work, beautifully conducted by Cliff Masterson and played by the R.P.O! The vocal tracks Daybreak, Christmas Day and Don't Cry Alone should all be massive hits, Daybreak itself sounds like one of Robin Gibb's best ever songs, not bad for a 63 year old known as one third of the BeeGees. Check out Robin's vocals on Don't Cry Alone, shear class! Isabel Suckling does a stunning job on Christmas Day. I fear this album will be overlooked and maybe snubbed by some classical enthusiasts but in my view this is a GREAT piece of musical work! I hope Robin and RJ will do another classical album in the future.
22 comments42 of 43 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 1 April 2012
With much anticapation, as soon as the CD hit my door mat it was swiftly put in the cd player. This is a lovely piece of work, the Orchestra sounded amazing. He and his son penned an emotional score not just musically but lyrically. Lyrics sung beautifully by the other male and female artists. Totally blown away that this was the same man who wrote and sang as one of the Bee Gees. You shouldn't pigeon hole an artist's career. This definately shows to me what a talented music writer he is. Would he turn his hand to film scores? Buy Titanic Requiem and then make your own mind up. I am no musical expert (just a child of the 70's whose heart came from 50's USA and hopes for the return of Top of The Pops) I know what I like and I like this.
0Comment14 of 14 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 27 March 2012
DO NOT TAKE THE SLIGHTEST NOTICE OF THE BBC REVIEW Robin & RJ Gibbs Titanic Requiem is truly wonderful and extremely moving, a modern classical masterpiece. Buy it, listen and spread the word.
44 comments37 of 38 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 2 April 2012
I DONT KNOW WHAT CD BBC REVIEW WAS LISTENING TO BUT IT WAS OBVIOUSLY NOT NOT THIS ONE. I HAVE JUST FINISHED MY FIRST LISTENING OF THE ENTIRE CD AND IT IS MAGNIFICIENT. I AM USUALLY A VERY HARSH CRITIC ON FIRST PLAY BUT NOT HERE. THIS IS OUTSTANDING AND I AM PROUUD TO HAVE IT IN MY COLLECTION. THE ROYAL PHILHARMONIC ORCHESTRA IS WONDERFUL . A VERY MELODIC TOUCHING PIECE OF WORK COMPLETELY RELATED TO THE SUBJECT. PLEASE PLEASE IGNOR BBC REVIEW IT IS A WASTE OF SPACE. BUY THIS.
0Comment30 of 31 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 26 March 2012
This is a stunning arrangement, there is so much feeling to the music, close your eyes and let this music take you back 100 years. Kyrie and Reflections have to be my favourite tracks.
You will find it very hard not to be moved by this album.
0Comment32 of 33 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 15 April 2012
Wow. This is a truly stunning piece of work by Robin Gibb and his son RJ.
Congratulations to everyone involved in this project, you have honoured the memories of those that perished that fateful night beautifully.
Please ignore the BBC review, a typically snobbish and ignorant "pop stars can't do classical" rant. As if the Bee Gees haven't received enough sneering criticisms for their outstanding contributions to popular music already.

And best wishes to Robin, may peace be with you whatever the outcome may be.
0Comment11 of 11 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 12 April 2012
....and "overwhelmed" is just a glimpse of the feelings I have after having seen and heart the Premiere of the Titanic Requiem in London.
I had forced myself to not listening to the CD till the event had taken place - now I can't stop listening to it; even without having switched on any CD player, the melodies and lyrics circle within my brain and heart.
This music could only be born within or out of a desperate situation - in order to reach out to all those souls facing similar emotions.
Thank you Robin and RJ for this comforting master-piece !!!
May you both be blessed.

Seems lousy to give just five stars.
0Comment10 of 10 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse

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