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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.
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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!
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on 28 April 2017
Recommended
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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!!
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on 27 April 2012
ONLY A MAN FROM OLD SENSITIVE AND LOVER OF LIFE COULD MAKE A SYMPHONY OPERA AS HIGH LEVEL: THE LAST GOODBYE, A REQUIEM FOR ALL THOSE PEPPLE THAT IN FIFTY YEARS OF MUSIC HAVE LISTENED TO THE SONGS AND THE MELODIOUS VOICE OF ROBIN GIBB.
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on 10 April 2017
Loving this music
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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.
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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.
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on 29 March 2012
I think the BBC reviewer has 'missed the boat'. The 'Titanic Requiem' is very evocative and moving. It would make an excellent soundtrack for a film or documentary about the Titanic. I buy a lot of modern classical works and this is very listenable. Give it a try and decide for yourself!
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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.
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