2012 sees the 100th anniversary of the sinking of Titanic, surely a seminal moment in recent history. In addition, it is apparently an ideal opportunity for cashing in on a tragic event which continues to inspire and fascinate a century on.
James Cameron’s 1997 cinematic epic, named after the infamous cruiseliner itself, was a veritable box office sensation, winning 11 Academy Awards and remaining the highest-grossing film of all time until 2010, when Avatar - also directed by Cameron – surpassed it. To commemorate the 100th anniversary of RMS Titanic setting sail on 10 April 1912, the blockbuster is set to be re-released in 3D and with it, a remastered and extended version of the soundtrack.
The first part of the two-disc collection is the music from the film. From ‘Never An Absolution’ to ‘Hymn To The Sea’, the music truly does transport you to the story behind Titanic and conjures up mental images of Kate Winslet and Leonardo DiCaprio’s rather risky midnight foray onto the deck of the doomed ship. The sound quality is undoubtedly superior on this remastered version, James Horner’s composition and production sublime.
While Disc One dutifully guides you through the thrills, spills and ultimate icy depths of the film, it is the newly added second disc which actually serves to catapult you back to a bygone era. I Salonisti, the string quintet that appeared in the film, bravely playing on as those around them resigned themselves to their impending watery deaths, provides a moving interpretation of the music played on board Titanic. From ‘Marguerite’s Waltz’ to ‘Blue Danube’ to ‘Song Of Autumn’, the musicians succeed in stirring the mind to imagine what life was like in the early 20th century. However, it is final piece, ‘Nearer My God To Thee’ which truly has most potential to cause you misty eyes. Reportedly the last song to be played by the band as Titanic succumbed to the waves, the instrumentation is highly evocative.
Naturally, the album’s appeal depends largely upon an appreciation of the classical genre and a willingness to endure Celine Dion for the four minutes it takes to listen to ‘My Heart Will Go On’. Fans of the film can not fail to be enthused by this remastered edition of one of the best-selling albums of all time, despite the inevitable charges of ‘cashing in’ on one of the most fascinating disasters in history.
Go Get It: ‘Nearer My God To Thee’
Forget It: ‘My Heart Will Go On’
You can buy the album here.