IT’S odd that the Titanic drama has never been put to music.
There are books aplenty and films: some fantastic, some big budget horrors. Yet music played, supposedly, such an important part in the brief life of this giant Liverpool liner.
So bravo to David Bedford for The Wreck of the Titanic, premiered by a range of school and youth choirs as well as the Liverpool Youth Orchestra and members of the Lancashire Sinfonietta.
Bedford has long been associated with music for education as well as collaborating with rock musicians such as Mike Oldfield, Elvis Costello and Enya.
This new work challenged some young performers and they survived, negotiating highly complex passages and difficult tempi throughout. What Bedford did with some skill was weave in rhythmic patterns, such as the Morse SOS signal, and some of the popular songs from the time: American camp fire offerings which talked about the unsinkable ship, the Palm Court sounds of Alexander’s Rag Time Band or I do like to be beside the seaside.
But it was the symbolism which made this work fascinating. The ship’s band playing throughout until the eerie end; the clanking of the Harland and Woolf shipyard; the use of Eternal Father Strong to Save.