James Horner: Titanic

Mention the movie Titanic and all sorts of memories are evoked. For some, it’s the sight of Kate Winslet romancing Leonardo di Caprio.

For others, it’s the sheer scale and cost of the movie. and, for many of us, our thoughts turn instantly to the masterful film score, composed by James Horner.

Titanic was a record breaker, in a truly titanic sense. Box office targets were smashed when, in 1998, millions of us went to see this much-hyped movie. It garnered more Oscars than any other modern film, it ran on (and on ... and on ...) for over three hours, and it placed huge demands on Horner – not least because of the amount of music that such a long film was bound to require.

The composer apparently turned his back quite deliberately on the traditional idea of what a film score for a Hollywood blockbuster should sound like. Gone were the full-on fanfares and fortissimo scores of the likes of John Williams; instead, he focused on the Irish background of di Caprio’s character, Jack Dawson, and chose music highly reminiscent of the likes of Enya and Clannad.

Titanic earned James Horner his fortune. And it also made Celine Dion, who sang the pop theme tune, a fair bit of money too.

Recommended Recording  

Original Soundtrack; James Horner (conductor). Sony: COLS 2K60797.