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Final Fantasy IX Piano Collections

"Much of the beauty and dignity a Final Fantasy piano collection should possess." Recommended

Artists

Tracks

53 minutes total
  1. Eternal Harvest
  2. Hermit's Library - Daguerreo
  3. The Place I'll Return to Someday
  4. Vamo' alla flamenco
  5. Frontier Village Dali
  6. Bran Bal, The Village Without Souls
  7. Endless Sorrow
  8. You're Not Alone!
  9. Two Hearts That Can't Be Stolen ~ Beyond That Door
  10. Rose of May
  11. Sleepless City Treno
  12. Where Love Doesn't Reach
  13. Final Battle
  14. Melodies of Life
  • Released Jan 24, 2001 by Digicube (catalog no. SSCX-10048, retail 2854 yen).

Reviews

Much of the beauty and dignity a Final Fantasy piano collection should possess.

Recommended

Editor's review by Adam Corn

Final Fantasy IX's original soundtrack was very much a successful tribute to the classic days of the series, and in similar fashion Final Fantasy IX Piano Collections successfully emulates the best of earlier piano collections, not only in the style of arrangement but even in the track selection and overall presentation.

Had I studied the track list before buying the CD (it was an impromptu purchase at a live performance for the album release in Tokyo), I probably would have been a little skeptical, since not all of the selected tracks exactly count as my favorites on the OST. But as is the case with any well designed piano arranged album, the producers chose to include not only the tracks that work best in the OST, but also ones that would flourish in piano form. Perhaps most improved is "You're Not Alone!", which sounded overly simplistic and cliched in its OST version, but thanks to a less serious yet much more elaborate arrangement in FFIX Piano Collections is more accessible and enjoyable. "Final Battle" surprisingly comes across much better than the OST version as well, once again sounding less cliched thanks to an arrangement slightly toned down from the overly eager original.

Another logical but not necessarily successful tradition in FF piano collections is giving tracks that were piano synth in the OST a live performance. Though this does little to salvage the boring "Sleepless City Treno" theme, "Rose of May" retains all its wonderful beauty in a more elaborate arrangement and performance.

Then there's the question of whether stand-out OST tracks can maintain their quality when performed by only a solo piano. In the case of "The Place I'll Return to Someday", the dignified and lovely sound of the piano indeed adds to the already pretty OST melody, although the just slightly jazzy turn the arrangement takes halfway through is in my opinion not the best choice. Most would agree that "Vamo' alla flamenco" is one of the more memorable tracks from the OST, and its piano version manages to keep much of the energy and liveliness of the original. Lastly, who can question the inclusion of "Melodies of Life"? Although it lacks Emiko Shiratori's lovely (in Japanese, at least) vocals, the melody works well in the new arrangement and the piano adds a loveliness of its own.

The main complaint I can imagine piano aficionados levying against FFIX Piano Collections would be that the arrangements are too simple. There are certainly times where I can envision the arrangements being more elaborate, but they're a clear step up from albums like Final Fantasy IV Piano Collection and Ys Piano Collection, and for people who like a good piano game music album but don't require Classical caliber arrangements I believe they'll very much suffice.

Final Fantasy IX Piano Collections is almost as much of a pleasant surprise for me as the OST was. It doesn't manage to tug at my heartstrings the way some previous series piano arrangements like the Final Fantasy 1987-1994 version of "Dear Friends" and several tracks from FFVI Piano Collections did, but it makes for a faithful and in some way equally enjoyable piano version of a favorite Final Fantasy OST.

A great buy for any piano or Final Fantasy fan...

Reader review by John Isip

I have heard the final Fantasy VIII Piano Collections and have much of the sheet music, and I wasn't too excited about getting the Final Fantasy IX Piano Collections. Don't get me wrong, I think that the final Fantasy VIII Piano Collection was the best in the series. With great piano pieces like "Eyes On Me," "Ami," and "Fisherman's Horizon," I wondered how the Final Fantasy IX Piano Collections could match such beauty.

When I first looked at the track selection, I was a bit dissapointed, to tell you the truth. Actually, I was very dissapointed with the tracks which Nobuo Uematsu himself chose to be on the CD. Perhaps the only piano pieces that I was interested in were "Vamo' Alla Flamenco," "The Place I'll Return To Someday," "The Final Battle" and of course "Melodies Of Life." When I listened to CD though, I was very surprised with the beauty and detail in each and every track. Most of the tracks have a gentle and calm feeling, like the previous Piano Collections, which is great for the piano.

While much of the music on this CD is excellently written (and performed), I did really dislike the awful "Sleepless City Treno", which I think is the worst piece on the entire OSV. Personally, I would never have thought to put this piece onto the CD. There, now I can focus on the finer points of the CD.

My favourite pieces have to be "Vamo' Alla Flamenco" and "Melodies Of Life." I'm sure many would agree with me in saying that these two pieces are the highlight of the collection. "Vamo' Alla Flamenco" is a lively piece, and was one of my favourites on the OSV. Gone are the heavy guitars, and you're left with a perfect piano arrangement. "Melodies Of Life" is equally as great, it starts very quietly and builds to a dramatic climax. Although the piano doesn't compare to Emiko Shiratori, it's an awfully passionate piece and sounds great. "Secret Library Daguerro" was also one of my favourites. It was hard for me to find the main theme from the OSV, but what a great piece this is.

Well, to sum it up, Final Fantasy IX Piano Collections is a great buy, if you've heard some of the songs before. I can't wait to get the sheet music so I can play the pieces at home (all but Sleepless City Treno). I mentioned Final Fantasy VIII Piano Collections, and comparing the two is somewhat hard, but I must say that I would reccomend that you get the Final Fantasy VIII Piano Collections instead, as they're just plain better. I have a few problems with the tracks in this collections, but the good pieces more than make up for the others.

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