Final Fantasy IV Piano Collections was the beginning of a much-loved series. This shows the piano collection series at its most basic, uncluttered and purist. Depending on how you like your piano piece’s played; this is either you most or least favourite selection. Whichever way you swing though, you cannot deny it is still a music masterpiece played beautifully by Toshiyuki Muri.
“Prelude” is the opening track, which flows so sweetly with ever increasing grandeur. The echo of the notes makes this CD much more fuller than how it would be if it was just a standalone sound. This is a lovely piece. “Theme Of Love” is played very slowly and for the most part quietly as to emphasis the loving emotion shown. It sticks to the tune and plays it though twice, the second time bolder than the first and ends softly, like a kiss.
“Prologue” starts a little too simple but adds different pieces of the tune as it goes along, making the song more complex and much better as it plays what many people will know as “Final Fantasy”. This song, despite sounding a little sparse in areas, is very grand indeed. This is where a big piano struts its stuff! “Welcome To Our Town” is lovely tune, which only small problem is its transition from the main theme to a melodic, almost raining arpeggios sounding a little disjointed. I am being very picky by saying that though. “Main Theme” is another song that sticks into your head, despite not standing out. This is due to sheer standard of playing and song writing.
“Chocobo-chocobo” is the song that really gets the feeling into it. This is maybe my favourite on the album as its no holds barred and very well played indeed. Maybe some people find it a little too eccentric but I adore this piece. “Into The Darkness” is a deliciously dark piece that makes you think of a death waltz. The piece is wonderfully played, and slowed down to emphasis the darkness that you have been swallowed by. “Rydia” in complete contrast is a heartening piece that is so peaceful and loving. The contrast of the two works extremely well and compliments them both. “Rydia” is another song that vies for favourite on the album as from the first to the last note; it is music at its best.
“Melody Of Lute” is another strong melody that grows on you. This version is faithful to the original piece and adds very little to it. As a result it might sound a little sparse at the beginning, but in keeping with the rest of the songs, it doesn’t seem to be noticeable and gets stronger towards the end, with a rather bizarre ending, that doesn’t suit the song! “Golbeza Clad In The Dark” is a dark song indeed, that uses the low notes to power out a military beat with a chill down the spine for an after taste. It works a treat, but would have been a shocking song if had a little more bass to it to boom out the big parts. “Troian Beauty” is another song with a clear melody that waltzes into your ears. This song is very underplayed at the start, and could have been played a lot more full and extravagant with broken chords than standard plodding ones. Still the overall song is good and extremely listenable.
“The Battle” plays much like a royal anthem would for the first minute and a half, then it breaks into a frenzy. Arpeggios of bass notes race as the main theme thumps out. It’s the most powerful song on the album, showcasing piano playing at its best to fantastic results. After that section finishes with a bang, on comes a somewhat funky and suave part, which leads into a battle version of the main theme. Its all done seamlessly and in great context and fashion. “Epilogue” is a nice piece that calmly goes through various stages and takes sections from various songs to make a long piece that spans 7 minutes, which includes “Final Fantasy” and finishes climatically.
The closing track in amazingly not entirely in piano! “Theme Of Love (ensemble)” is an orchestrated version of the song that is very heart rending and just as good as the piano version, and it is a nice way to close the album.
Final Fantasy IV Piano Collections does what it says on the box. Not many extra frills here, but the songs it sticks so faithfully too are classic songs, which are played in magnificent style. If you’re after straight copies onto piano – here is where you must go.