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The Titanic Requiem CD

4.7 out of 5 stars 104 customer reviews

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Frequently Bought Together

  • The Titanic Requiem
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  • 50 St. Catherine's Drive
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  • Saved By The Bell: The Collected Works Of Robin Gibb 1968-1970
Total price: £31.35
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Product details

  • Audio CD (26 Mar. 2012)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: CD
  • Label: Rhino
  • ASIN: B0070BG10U
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (104 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 73,762 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)
  • Sample this album Artist (Sample)
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Product Description

Product Description

This brand new symphonic concept-album marks the first collaboration between father and son robin and Robin-John (RJ) Gibb. The Titanic Requiem was written and completed in time to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the catastrophic loss of life of the oceanic legend RMS Titanic. It is performed by the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra and features the RSVP Voices Choir, lead vocals from such opera notables as tenor Mario Frangoulis and British choirgirl, Isabel Suckling. ‘Don’t Cry Alone’, features a lead vocal from Robin Gibb - the first new song released with Robin's vocals for many years.

BBC Review

The most famous nautical disaster in history has received many interpretations over the years. On the whole they conclude that, yes, it was very much a tragedy, officially a bad thing to have happened. Consequently, the news that Bee Gee Robin Gibb and his son R.J. were to collaborate with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra (and feature vocal guest spots from Isabel Suckling and Mario Frangoulis) to create the latest artistic re-imagining of the event was at least interesting. Gibb the elder’s performances for the Bee Gees were often marbled with a yearning or a wistful glance over the shoulder at sad things in the past – perhaps this could be ripe territory for a creative re-awakening.

Well, don’t get your hopes up. As soon as the clang of bells (shamelessly nabbed from Shostakovich and supposed to mimic the swelter and grubby grind of industry) is heard giving way to a murky male choir on the opening Shipbuilding, we’re in disappointingly safe waters. Shipbuilding is followed by The Immigrant song – neither of them covers, immediately a disappointment to both Costello and Zeppelin fans – which is brighter but no less thievish in its plundering of classical timbres, themes and moods. Facile approximations of Beethoven at his most pastoral evoke very little in the mind of the strong narrative source, no matter how sweetly executed they are.

That the melodies are so plain and, at worst, unmemorable highlights how pop writers can be sunk without their poetry to engage the listener. The Gibbs (it’s unclear exactly which has written what) appear comfortable in this medium, certainly, but there’s little display of verve, terror or anything that might be considered either exciting or relevant to the Titanic. Maiden Voyage sounds like a canter around the maypole rather than a ship launching into virgin waters, and even the final moments of the whole disc reveal an overwhelmingly positive, predictable plagal cadence.

The biggest niggle, though, is that rather than creating a work that reacts to the movement of its narrative, the Gibbs have elected to shoehorn it into a classical requiem form. Rather than lend gravitas or a quasi-religious, spectral quality to the drama, it actually makes it rather segmented and lumpy. Even Robin’s dramatic vocal on Don’t Cry Alone (easing back into singing a new composition after a well-documented break) sounds over-wrought and too sentimental. It’s encouraging to hear him have at it so convincingly but, like much of this disc, it is energy misspent.

--Daniel Ross

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Marty From SF HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWER on 13 April 2012
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
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.
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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.
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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.
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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!!
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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.
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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!
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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.
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