The Piano Collections goes from strength to strength as its turn for Final Fantasy V to get the piano treatment. Gone is the “thin” feel that slightly lessens the FFIVPC experience and here arrives a fuller sound that makes piano music much more enjoyable. Again Toshiyuki Muri takes to the ivories and as the arrangements are more creative, we find our ears treated track after track.
“A Presentiment” is a lovely opener, showcasing a little bit of everything to come. From slow to fast, quiet to loud and big build-ups. The changes keep you listening for the next twist in the song and you’ll be satisfied come the end. “Tenderness In The Air” is a very enchanting piece that takes you through the love story of the game. Its very sweet indeed, and for the most part, the soft playing emphasises this. Once again, the fuller sound makes the music sound more complete.
“Harvest” is one of my favourites on the album. It has a sheer quality and purity to it that takes over your soul and pounds out the tune. From the main tune to the jazz fused parts, you’ll be dancing away to it without a care in the world. “Ahead On Our Way” is another song that is sweet yet fluent. With this collection, the piano playing, can be fast, and still be cute rather than powerful. Some parts do slow down to make adorable music before building up for a grandstand finish.
“Critter Tripper Fritter!?” may be a little too bizarre and discordant for many people, but it definitely has charm and character. Admittedly, it’s the most abstract song people will have heard for a long time, but if you like it, your treasure the song forever. “My Home, Sweet Home” is a very dramatic yet docile song, which is a strange thing to achieve. It does it very well, but the overall feel is one of sorrow… but with a beat to it!
“Mambo de Chocobo” is a very uplifting affair. The piano really brings out the sunshine and the different harmonies on the song make for a real Mambo effect, which is pulled off well and is definitely one of the better Chocobo arrangements.
“Lenna’s Theme” is a bit too abstract to make for tear jerking listening. They could have made it a lot sweeter, but then they are trying to show the characters strength. As a result it’s one that grows after repeated listens. “Music Box” is more like a waltz than the music box theme, but it still plays as great music with it having the obligatory big finale chorus at the end.
“Battle With Gilgamesh” is a fantastic piece. It has all the power and then some cunning build up sequences within. The playing is mesmerising and it’s a top-notch performance, while “Waltz Clavier” starts off well, and plays nicely and makes for a great tune, but the clumsy out of tune part can grate a little. The second half of the song is lively and makes up for that part if you’re not a fan of it though!
“Dear Friends” is a slow paced but lovable piece that plays like a Royal tune. Played through twice, the song’s second turn is more enjoyable for the broken chords. “The New Origin” is a climatic piece to cap off a superb album. The way it’s played shows power, anticipation and dominance. It’s a fantastic way to close the album in style.
Final Fantasy V Piano Collections is a magnificent album that all music lovers, never mind piano lovers, would enjoy. It has a presence that hooks you from the very first note, the last fading chord.