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The Music of Titanic
THE MUSIC OF TITANIC
by Richard Buxton

 

Titanic is first and above all a love storyĒ (James Cameron). Rarely have truer words been spoken. As the years have ticked by blockbuster films have come and gone, spectacular visual effects have wowed audiences the world over time and time again and records continue to be broken again and again. Yet, something stays the same. Something that has not changed since the winter of 1997. Titanic remains in the hearts and minds of millions the world over, as the enduring romance of modern cinema. The survival of this romance owes great thanks to composer JAMES HORNERíS unforgettable themes that are as fresh today as they were all those years ago. 2012 sees the rerelease of TITANIC in theatres, celebrating the filmís 15th anniversary and acting as remembrance on the disasterís 100th anniversary. To coincide with this rerelease, JAMES HORNERíS original release and subsequent additional music release combine with music from other artists to form the TITANIC ANNIVERSARY EDITION.  Additionally, The White Star Chamber Orchestra and Choir perform music from the 1997 film, the musical, and even John Barry's Raise the Titanic on TITANIC: AN EPIC MUSICAL VOYAGE.

TRACKSOUNDS once again sets sail into this timeless romance, bringing you:

  • Titanic: Anniversary Edition review

  • Titanic: An Epic Musical Voyage review

  • Titanic Original Score review

  • Back to Titanic review

 

 

 

Titanic: Anniversary Edition

One Hundred and Fifteen Years Later
Review by Richard Buxton

The RMS Titanic was said to be unsinkable, a passenger liner capable of ascension beyond the grasp of mother natureís many hazards, but on that fateful night of April 15th 1912, the hubris of mankind was once again punished and consumed by a vast, unforgiving ocean. Yet, in a final act of arrogance, what was once one of manís finest creations has risen again to prove that it was in fact unsinkable from its resting place in history. The Titanic was not the first vessel to sink and was certainly not the last, but the ship has lived on as something more than just that. It has almost become legend through the many stories of its survivors and victims, and of course through JAMES CAMERONíS epic romantic drama, a record-breaking film that was accompanied by one of the most endearing and heart-breaking scores of them all.

JAMES HORNER is no stranger to the effect that the purity of music can have on the emotions of an audience with LEGENDS OF THE FALL, APOLLO 13 and many others proving to be amongst the most evocative scores in a generation. TITANIC stands above them all. The magnetism of his oceanic score is undeniable, his tone and themes unforgettable. Even the mere reproduction of the first three notes of his famous theme for the ill-fated centerpiece romance will surely be met with overwhelming recognition and remembrance, such is its raw power and emotional pull. It comes as no surprise then that the 15th anniversary of the filmís release, and the 100th anniversary of the ship, sees an anniversary rerelease of both the film and the score. The TITANIC ANNIVERSARY EDITION provides a four-disc set, the first two discs being the original soundtrack release and BACK TO TITANIC, with the third and fourth providing music by artists other than JAMES HORNER. This will undoubtedly be met with a mixed reception from those yearning for more from HORNERíS Academy Award winning score, but will at least satisfy those in desperate need of more TITANIC.

Read the full review + Audio version

 


 

Titanic: An Epic Musical Voyage

The Insatiable Titanic
Review by Richard Buxton

With the likes of Avatar, Transformers and numerous other popular film scores receiving the rerecording treatment, it comes as no surprise that yet another is scheduled for release. What may come as a surprise is that it is for a film that was released fifteen years ago, and one that has seen unprecedented media coverage over the many years since its release. The creation of TITANIC: AN EPIC MUSICAL VOYAGE is testament to the faith that so many put into TITANIC as a musical brand. Despite the release of the TITANIC ANNIVERSARY EDITION and the prior releases of TITANIC and BACK TO TITANIC, itís clear that there is still demand for more from JAMES HORNERíS score and anything and everything that can be related to it.

Performed by the WHITE STAR CHAMBER ORCHESTRA AND CHORUS and conducted by DAN REDFELD, the release is comprised of two distinct halves. Eight of the sixteen tracks are interpretations of HORNERíS original score, with the remaining seven tracks being lifted from the likes of RAISE THE TITANIC, S.O.S TITANIC, RENDEZVOUS WITH TITANIC, and TITANIC THE MUSICAL.

The problem with AN EPIC MUSICAL VOYAGE is a problem that often arrives with re-interpretations of original film score releases in that it just doesnít match up. Through what could be interpreted as a nostalgic bias towards HORNERíS original release, and a perhaps slightly unjust direct comparison, AN EPIC MUSICAL VOYAGE is fighting a losing battle from the very start.

Read the full review + Audio version
 



 

Back to Titanic by James Horner

Are You Ready to Back to Titanic?
Review by Christopher Coleman (Updated Review)

With a movie the length of TITANIC, there's little surprise that significant amounts of the original score wouldn't make a single CD release of the soundtrack. Be that as it may, that didn't stop the original soundtrack for TITANIC from selling some 30 million copies! It's likely to have sold nearly that many if there had been only one track on that release...and you all know what track I'm referring to. But, of course, I kid...mostly. Celine Dion's pop, romantic, vocal version of "My Heart Will Go On," for better or worse, literally haunted our ears and minds for the final few years of the 1990s, but only an all-time hit like that could have cast even the smallest of shadows on the epic score which came from the mind, heart and pen of JAMES HORNER. About eight months after the release of Sony's original soundtrack, came the inevitable, BACK TO TITANIC, featuring even more of JAMES HORNER's score...and a number of diegetic inclusions as well.

For Horner fans, the clear highlights here will be the two suites which sandwich the other eleven tracks. Launching this release is a 19 minute suite which completely and satisfactorily captures the musical essence of the film's score. Those who have listened to the original release enough times will notice that this isn't some hastily stitched together piece comprised of music already released, but a thoughtfully constructed and engaging suite. While the opening moments of the suite are much more reflective, we soon find ourselves caught back up in the adventurism of Titanic's pre-tragic, main theme. Eventually, when Rose's theme reclaims the tempo and energy of the track. Sissel's perfect, wordless vocals enchant the listener again, while a subdued flute sets us up for a final symphonic and choral barrage that will perform a full-test of your goosebump-generator.

Read the full review + Audio Version
 


 

Titanic by James Horner

The Inescapable Score
Review by Richard Buxton

For some, 15 years can be likened to the blinking of an eye, and for others it is almost a lifetime. One thing is for certain however, that 1997 was a milestone in filmmaking. Receiving unprecedented acclaim and experiencing equally unprecedented box-office success, JAMES CAMERONíS TITANIC is a film not easily forgotten, regardless of oneís stance on its many facets. Since TITANICíS startling domination of the film world, the director, primary cast and composer have all gone on to experience equal, and in the case of AVATAR greater, success. Not wanting to let an obvious cash-in pass by, PARAMOUNT and 20th CENTURY FOX have chosen the filmís 15th anniversary and the shipís 100th anniversary as an appropriate point in time for a re-release.

Itís not often that a film score threatens to transcend the film it was crafted to accompany, but JAMES HORNERíS score for TITANIC was one such score. With more than a little help from the voice of CELINE DION, TITANIC soon went on to become the highest selling film score album of all-time, a feat somewhat unsurprising when looking at the incredible popularity of the film. It was to be HORNERíS finest moment, winning two Academy Awards (Best Original Score & Best Original Song), in a career already full of monumental highs. In years to come TITANIC will surely be remembered as the score that defined JAMES HORNERíS career, something any composer would be proud of.

Regardless of your opinion of the film or the music, itís hard to argue against how pure the effect TITANICíS music has. As someone who enjoyed but never became overly enamoured by the oceanic romance, HORNERíS score is something of a mystery. Unlike many of HORNERíS other scores and those from other great composers, it might be hard for someone, who is in a similar position, to form any sort of music-to-character/event connection outside the context of the film. Yet, such is the power and feeling of HORNERíS music, those connections have somehow autonomously formed, as if the music had achieved sentience the moment it rippled the airwaves with its hauntingly familiar warmth. The lyrics and melody of ďMy Heart Will Go OnĒ (14) will remain forever ingrained in the mind of those old enough to remember the peak of TITANICíS popularity, but the remainder of HORNERíS score has somehow managed to form memories and feelings, all these years later, that potentially were never there before. The emotions formed when listening to TITANIC from such a perspective make the score something beyond an enigma and further enhance the reputation of HORNER as someone who can seemingly construct emotion and connection from the thinnest of air.

Read the full review + Audio Version
 

 

Want even more? Check out our
JAMES HORNER COMPILATION SHOWDOWN

James Horner Compilation Showdown (1999)


 



Titanic: Anniversary Edition

Back to Titanic by James Horner

Titanic by James Horner

Titanic: An Epic Musical Voyage (Soundtrack) by The White Star Chamber Orchestra and Chorus

 


 

 

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