Ah piano arrangements of game music! A staple of my music listening for the last two decades and yet no one had attempted Chrono Trigger fully until now. Trevor Gomes takes largely a literal approach in many cases over this ten track album that takes some of our best loves themes from the game and transposes them to piano.
One of the reasons I do recommend the album is for Trevor’s robust playing style. His rendition of “Chrono Trigger” has plenty of character and ‘jangle’ as we call it in the UK! There’s enough pizzazz to give you a smile whilst not deviating from the theme. “Peaceful Days” similarly follows a cutesy rendition with its chirpy waltzing undercurrent that slows down slightly from the main, more gentle hooks. There’s the occasional added flair but it’s ability to work the octaves is what endears the track to me. “Wind Scene ~ Yearnings of the Wind” is sumptuous and lets the low-end and left hand get weighty in places to add gravitas to the arrangement too so it goes for the heart and for the passion at the same time.
“Frog’s Theme” is a marvel of finger precision with a complex and ever rolling arrangement that I’ve had on repeat many times before and will continue to do so whilst charging into battle on the commuter trains! “At the End of Time” is more of a rocking blues track that has a quirky off kilter delivery whilst “Jolly Ol’ Spekkio” is just perfect for the Christmas season with its sentimental ragtime feels.
“Magus Confronted” is a really interesting track with how it changes mood whilst keeping its pace at full on attack and is one of the daring renditions, whilst “Black Omen” takes the biggest risks by using the piano as a slap drum and playing inside with the some of the piano mechanics. I love it when an artist tries out different things and the use of hearing the piano hammers is great and reminds me of one of my favourite piano albums of all time – Brandish Piano Collection. The album closes with the more traditional “To Far Away Times” and “A Distant Promise” which offer heart and warmth with their renditions.
I have one single complain with this album – I want more of it! Clocking in at 34 minutes, I wish there were a few more tracks to include but then I guess that means I can save up and ask for a Chrono Cross Piano Collections instead… (eh Trev?). A fine example of piano arrangements of game music.
c, its musically beautiful and melodic whilst being faithful to the original source with the added flair of Gomes’ extra bells and whistles. A must for fans of game music and piano music.
Recommended Track : Frog’s Theme