Final Symphony - LSO Video Game Album (2015) Listen-Through

February 1, 2017, 8:05 AM · So I think I mentioned this series of games in my blog before, but I thought I'd continue with my re-discovery last night of this concert series that the London Symphony Orchestra recorded (I believe in 2015). It's really clever how the arrangers took the video game music and turned it into "classical" music forms, which is why I thought I'd share them here.

I just thought I'd share my thoughts listening to these three pieces and my history with them here for a bit, as all three - the symphonic poem for VI (which I know well), the "symphony" for VII, and the Piano Concerto for X ("Zanarkand" was the first ever Final Fantasy piece I listened to in April 2014, at a time where in Japan the Cherry Blossoms would have been flowing). Apparently that game's soundtrack has a very Japanese vibe to it - which I totally could tell a bit of listening to the Concerto!

I was watching through Final Fantasy VI (like the gameplay) in September 2014, which my "obsession" for the series started, and then this album that was newly released came out and I listened to "Born with the Gift of Magic" along with all the other random orchestral arrangements of music from that particular game, since I recognized the character themes and such in it. There's even a celeste in that piece, which adds a bit of a mysterious quality to the music. And it was cool seeing the live orchestra playing it. So that game has the most memory and "nostalgia" you could say. While all three are orchestrated brilliantly, this one had a different impact on me since I did recognize the story arc told in the 20-minute piece, which was cool - the story of the actual game from Terra's perspective, pretty much. So this is the one whose music I recognize the most, and it's lots of fun listening through the whole piece.
"Born with the Gift of Magic"

And then the other two games! The Piano Concerto I hear a little bit of "Zanarkand" but don't recognize anything else, and VII I hear some of the themes from the 25th anniversary concert and the opening theme. So it's cool for those moments, but everything else is pretty much just a 21st-century orchestral work by the wonderful LSO, which is very cool. I love some of the orchestral effects used throughout both pieces, but particularly in the VII symphony. In the second movement, "Words Drowned by Fireworks," the piano part (now in the background) pretty much aurally sounds the glistening of a lake, is what I got from it - very cool! And then there are high E string violin glissandi which eventually begin to form the sounds of seagulls, or that's what I took from listening to it. Then there are the big beautiful sweeps that lead to some of the more familiar melodies from the actual game. There's also some part where the harp is trying to play, and the orchestra rudely interrupts it with a big hit, which is funny. ?? The Piano Concerto for Final Fantasy X, which is very cool to read about how it was the biggest new game and all in 2000 going into 2001. Somehow, seemlessly, the melodies from the game weave into a "classical" Piano Concerto in G. Fun!
The beautiful second movement of the Final Fantasy VII Symphony in Three Movements
The first movement of the Final Fantasy X Piano Concerto

I know that there was another concert series for more of the Final Fantasy games, like V and IX and others (Final Symphony II) - here's one from Final Fantasy VIII.

Click here to view the Final Fantasy wiki page for more info on this album.


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