Well, well... It looks like Mr. Uematsu has taken a little bit here and there when composing for FF IX. There's a little FF1, FF3, FF5, FF7, and even a little Grieg, and it's all melted together into a... Sandwich? Is that a good metaphor? (Okay, okay, so I took that one from Conan O'Brien).
Now, with the OST Plus you get songs from the full-motion video (FMV) sequences (tracks 1 - 29), three in-game songs (tracks 30 - 32), and a couple of arranged versions from the FF IX OST (tracks 33 - 38, and 41), and finally, as a bonus track you'll get a remixed version of "Melodies of Life" (42). I'm not quite sure where tracks 39 and 40 were taken from, though.
There are quite a number of powerful and well orchestrated tracks here (as you've already heard if you played the game). I pretty much decided to buy this soundtrack when I first heard "Summoning To Destroy Cleyra" (11) from a clip I downloaded, long before I got the game. The same goes for "Breaking Through South Gate" (21), which really builds up and gives you this incredible rush feeling, really adventurous. I didn't dislike any of the FMV tracks, they are even more brilliant now, as I can play them as much as I want (and without the sound effects getting in the way). I also noticed how brilliant and majestic "Summoning Alexander" (21) really was, since I didn't get much of a chance to listen to it when I played through the game. "Eiko Descends" (20) is one of those cute piano tunes with a few strings attached; "Dagger Cuts Her Hair" (24) as well has a beautiful piano tune lifted up by a few strings. These FMV tracks are very short, though, and there are no extended versions. However, they're many, and they truly amplify Nobuo Uematsu's incredible skill with catchy melodies.
The in-game tracks missing from the OST weren't that many, only three tracks as I could tell. But I'm glad I could get "Doga and Une" (31), which I'll quote Black Mage No. 123 on, "What a beautiful song...". It's quite different from the others in the OST in general. I don't know how to classify this one (an Uematsu), but I do know that it's from FF3 (NES), and this version is just as minimalistic (by choice this time, not by sound hardware limitations). It basically uses three instruments (a bass, flute, and a dulcimer-thingy) and it's very nicely done. I didn't like "Rufu's Welcoming Ceremony" when I played FF7, or listening to it from the OST. Anyway, the millennium version (30) has a more spacious sound to it than the original FF7 version, and that's about it. As for "Daughter of Madain Sari" (32), it's exactly the same as "Eiko's Theme" from the OST. The one and only difference is that Garnet's theme melody is merged into it as well.
Tracks 36 - 38 were mentioned to be "Ancient Music Versions", they are all alternate versions of the (in my opinion) horrible (and basically same) songs "Ipsen Heritage", "The 4 Mirrors", "A Fleeting Past", and "Oeilvert" from the OST. "Kogaku Motet 1" (36) pretty much sounded like it was played by the Orchestra from Hell, with strangled bagpipes in the background and a slightly out-of-tune performance. "Main" (34) is an arranged version of the main FF IX theme (a tiny piece of an FF1 song is hidden in there), and a pretty happy version it is too, with flutes joyfully dancing around the strings (get the picture?). You also have "Walz" (35), which I found to be one of the better arranged tracks: it's more upbeat and has a lighter tone than the more basic and flat original ("Terra" from the OST). "Kuja 5" (41) is for the most part the same as "Kuja's Theme" from the OST, but in this version it goes just a little bit slower, and there are a few variations added after the original theme has played. The variations helps to give this version a deeper, more mysterious feel than the original theme.
Since I'm a Norwegian, I just have to mention that parts of the melody in "Brahne Appears - The Play Begins" (1) are somewhat based on a song by Norwegian composer, Edvard Grieg (1843 - 1907). The original song is called (in English) "In The Hall of the Mountain King". Another interesting fact is that "Kuja's Theme" was taken from the song "The Intension of the Earth" (FF5). There are probably more reincarnated tracks throughout FF IX (listen carefully, and you are sure to find a few).
I don't regret buying this CD at all (as long as I skip tracks 36 - 38 I'm just fine). Sure, most of the orchestral tracks are short (anything from 0:39 to 1:20), but they're so incredibly well made, packed with rich and powerful orchestral sounds, and you do get one of the best orchestral pieces released so far for any FF game. There are also a few nicely redone songs such as "Doga and Une" and the arranged songs "Main" and "Waltz".
If you're a fan of Nobuo Uematsu's music, then this is certainly something you would want on your shelf.