Titanic - a commemoration in music and film .....recommended


Apr 12, 2012
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Did any of you watch or even attend this excellent saturday evening event from Belfast on the 100th anniversary?
I watched it on BBC 2 and would urge other members to view it too at BBCi BBC iPlayer - Titanic: A Commemoration in Music and Film ...it'll be there for another few days.

The document readings which wrapped themselves around the music were excellent, even if some of it might be a little over familiar now....however musically most of it was good, with three or four tremendous highlights - and of course one or two which misfired a little.
The central part was beautiful and moving, leading from Father Browne's photos of Queenstown's departure to a wonderful new song sung by Katie Melua [I became an instant fan of her's] which could have done wonderfully well in any Titanic drama to represent the Eire people leaving for the US....then, after an emotive reading from survivor Charlotte Collyer's memories, Alfie Boe sang Bring Him
Home in front of a marvellously depicted imagine symbolising Titanic's calls for help....Mica Paris finished the evening is strong style.

Overall, most of it was brilliantly pulled off, the kind of thing the BBC broadcasts with not much fanfare, but is truly memorable and has garnered the praise ITV1 was looking for with its drama.....

Here's the programme blurb....
Live from Belfast's Waterfront Hall, John Humphrys hosts this unique blend of music and documentary to mark the centenary of the sinking of RMS Titanic.

Live from Belfast's Waterfront Hall, John Humphrys hosts this commemorative event to mark the centenary of the sinking of RMS Titanic. A unique blend of music and documentary, the show features special performances from Bryan Ferry, Joss Stone, Nicola Benedetti, Alfie Boe, Charlie Siem, Maverick Sabre and the Ulster Orchestra. The performances wrap around a documentary which tells the story of the ill-fated ship, those who built her, the people who sailed on her and the enduring legacy of the tragedy.
 

Nancy Bratby

Member
Apr 18, 2005
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I was very disappointed. Half the modern music didn't work in my opinion. The only moving parts were the readings, the films and the two violinists playing Nearer My God to Thee. The music choices were not resonant at all, at least not to me and I thought the acoustic was awful.

One song which WOULD have been resonant and which would have started my tear ducts off is REM's Everybody Hurts. Sung with a background of montages of the relatives outside the White Star offices, that would have packed a punch.
 
Apr 12, 2012
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I disagree, I thought the evening was ambitious, moving and tasteful, & I would ask you and anyone else to go back to the Katie Melua performed song, and not be moved,

Try here....

Katie Melua ft Davy Spillane - Gold in them Hills @ Titanic commemoration (14.04.12) - YouTube

Emotively sung, I think the song's lyrics were the highlight of the evening, and DID provide something fresh to this oft-told story that even James Cameron with his $millions$ would watch and envy. I'll explain.
...Quite often in Titanic dramas it is the male Irish immigrant - such as John Cairney's role of Mr Murphy in A Night to Remember and Jason Barry as Thomas "Tommy" Ryan in 1997's Titanic - who is the fun-loving optimist, with the Irish women quiet, submissive and seemingly a lot less hopeful of what America will bring.
The song was a highlight for me because it reversed those cliched roles, and it the woman who is saying 'There's gold in them hills' , to the worried man.
In this song, and later in the Alfie Boe song (Bring Him Home, a sentiment something so many wives of the lost husbands must have desired as they left the ship) the evening's attempt to highlight the emotional drama of the human experience which took place surrounding the Titanic through song worked, adding resonance to the testiments of survivors and the narrative readings of the facts of the voyage and sinking.
And I also disagree with your point about the REM song - it makes me glad even more that this event was organised and staged in the UK and not the USA - I do not wish to be offensive, but I think that choice would have been lazy schmaltz.
 

Nancy Bratby

Member
Apr 18, 2005
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Well I would have liked it.

It might have helped as well if I could have heard more than half the words sung, especially by Bryan Ferry. Diction!
 

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