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Taro Hakase – “Final Fantasy XII Symphonic Suite” Review

The first real release of Final Fantasy XII music comes courtesy of Taro Hakase whom has apparently not been releasing music for many years and some in the classical world see this as a statement of a comeback. This 5 track single (complete with DVD showing a 3 minute bonus video of game footage) only clocks in at just under 9 minutes. If you thought the FFX-2 singles were small, this ones worse still! So is it a case of quality over quantity?

“Overture” is a rich orchestral arrangement (as they all are) that is very much a scene setter. A nice downbeat melody with some tension and apprehension is left at large but its hardly show stopping. However as these are marked as movements, its how you’d maybe expect it to be. “March of a Wise Man” is a very traditional quick march and good enough but once again is hardly really a heart stopping melody.

However “Road of Hope” really gets the orchestration flowing with all kinds of fun little quirks and an almost American soap opera feel being brought in. The strings and percussion work very well together in harmony and because it takes some 3 minutes to really give you a piece to get into and savour – it sounds so much better for it.
“Romance” too is an extremely beautiful piece with just the ebbs of an orchestrated background to a simple guitar melody until a sorrowfilled yet endearing string section is played out. Its a shame again this piece isnt longer as it deserves to be. It’s seemless transistion to “Road of Hope ~reprise” is a clever and good one, like a lifting of clouds for a passionate climax.

This single is a weird one, its good there’s no denying that at all, yet you can’t help but think the music could have been extended in some way. The need for the single too may well be very limited as since the best movement will be on the FFXII soundtrack. However the first press poster is a bonus if your able to find it now. Difficult review this one, maybe if you are a completest or an avid orchestral fan this will be a worthy addition but for many there’s too little here to be worth while tempting you with.

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