Final Fantasy Symphonic Suite is a fully orchestrated album, showcasing songs from Final Fantasy I-III. Epic is the name of the game here, as everything gets for the first time, an arranged album! For an arranged album from 1989, it hasnt dated a day and stands up strong today. The tracks were arranged by Katsuhisa Hattori and Takayuki Hattori and the album was performed by the Tokyo Symphony Orchestra.
Scene I (FFII’s main theme) features a choir and a string arrangement powerfully pounding out the main tune, with a little help from some brass and percussion arrangements. It is a beautiful rendition and an excellent opener as it’s very familiar.
Scene II (FFII’s Battle Scene 2) has a very strange drumbeat to accompany the song, which aside from that is a very accomplished piece, with as much drama as you can handle. The drumbeat doesn’t really detract from the song; it just seems a little out of place although over time I have gotten used to its quirk.
Scene III is a medley of FFI’s Opening, the town theme and Matoya’s cave! Each segment is excellently transposed. The Opening part’s majestic ways must have been what earned it such high occult to be included somewhere in every Final Fantasy! The town theme is much more quieter, effortlessly rolling into Matoya’s Cave which is where the choir join the string and brass instruments for what is a very relaxing piece before building up for a crescendo of the opening theme again. Fantastic stuff!
Scene IV (FFII’s Finale) starts off with a picturesque harp and xylophone piece that grabs your heart. Then a heart wrenching string piece is played, almost like a royal anthem. From here it gradually adds layers of instrumentation to a big finale! This is classic Final Fantasy music.
Scene V (FFI and II’s Preludes) showcases various instruments for a military induced fun tune, that instead of being majestic is more happy and outgoing. Soon this stops and the traditional Prelude begins, complete with a harp. It is very cutely done. Wind instruments add a vocalised tune over the top and it forms a delicate song, which shines amongst so many big battle tracks.
Scene VI (FF1’s Kuluku’s Volcano) is a playful song, with pizzicato strings making the tune at the beginning sound like a clumsy, happy one. Soon other instruments enter the fray and it turns a little more mystical and dangerous and the pace quickens and it turns into a dramatic piece.
The final piece, Scene VII (FF1’s Main Theme) rounds off the album in typical style, with a majestically big piece, almost like a swan song. Everyone gets in on the act, and a full orchestra and choir pound out the ending to an ovation at the ending!
After listening to a blinding CD and clapping along with the crowd at the end, you’ll find this CD treasured as one of your favourites, especially if you’re a fan of the older games melodies. Technically accomplished and on scale that was rarely done at the time of making, buy this piece of history and you wont be disappointed.