Final Fantasy VI Piano Collections

A worthwhile piano collection for fans of the game, though short of the best of the series. Cautiously Recommended

Extended Audio Preview

Previewed Tracks

  • 00:00 Coin Song
  • 02:25 Gau
  • 03:47 Terra
  • 05:31 The Mystic Forest
  • 07:49 Kids Run Through The City Corner
  • 09:28 Johnny C Bad
  • 11:26 Kefka
  • 13:24 Strago
  • 14:23 Mystery Train
  • 15:49 Celes
  • 17:27 Waltz de Chocobo
  • 19:12 Spinach Rag
  • 21:01 The Decisive Battle

Artist Credits

Tracks

41 minutes total
  1. Tina
  2. Gau
  3. Cefca
  4. Spinach Rag
  5. Stragus
  6. The Mystic Forest
  7. Kids Run Through the City Corner
  8. Johnny C. Bad
  9. Mystery Train
  10. The Decisive Battle
  11. Coin Song
  12. Celes
  13. Waltz de Chocobo
  • Released Jun 25, 1994 by NTT (catalog no. PSCN-5005, retail 3800 yen).

Reviews

A worthwhile piano collection for fans of the game, though short of the best of the series.

Cautiously Recommended

Editor's review by Adam Corn (2014-11-05)

Piano Collections Final Fantasy VI falls squarely in the middle of the series' piano arranged albums - less complex and creative than the best, but having more imagination and emotional impact than the worst. Even if not the creme de la creme of piano arrangements, it should be enough to satisfy FFVI fans less intent on piano virtuosity than on hearing their favorite themes from the game done once over.

Make that twice over - of the thirteen themes selected for arrangement, eight you'll also find featured in the orchestral album Final Fantasy VI Grand Finale. The overlap is a bit disappointing coming from a soundtrack with so many great themes, but on the flip side those eight shared themes do make up most of the album's standout tracks. "Terra" begins with such a lonely, melodramatic quality you can almost see the snow falling on a stark winter day, while the rolling accompaniment in the second half brings a sense of determination for the journey ahead. "The Mystic Forest" and "Kids Run Through The City Corner" are as lovely as you would expect, and even for someone who's generally not a huge fan of "Celes", its delicate arrangement and beautiful finale make an emotional almost-end to the album. (The producers made the odd decision of using the forgettable "Waltz de Chocobo" for the final track instead.)

That leaves five themes that aren't featured in Grand Finale, and one of them is a beauty. If you thought "Coin Song" had the quality of a tear-jerker in the original version, wait till you hear this piano arrangement. The theme itself is perfectly suited to piano, but arranger Reiko Nomura's added intro, accompaniment and finale really bring out the emotion in the piece. On the completely opposite side of the spectrum, "Johnny C Bad" benefits from Nomura's additions as well, even if it loses a fair amount of its energy without the jazzed-up percussion of the original. (For the ultimate arrangement of the piece, see the full instrumental version in Cafe SQ.)

The rest of the tracks are average Piano Collections fare - pleasant and passable but not likely to leave a strong impression. Whether due to the plainness of those remaining tracks or a slightly homogeneous sound to the album as a whole, I find myself being less impressed with it than I am with such piano collections as FFVIII and FFXIII, despite liking FFVI's original soundtrack infinitely more. Still, the arrangements that do stand out I'd be loathe to be without, and for fans content with a nicely done piano album if not the best of the series, Piano Collections Final Fantasy VI is worth seeking out.

Rare, and a must-buy for Uematsu fans, although a couple arrangements are more interesting than others.

Reader review by Necrosaro

Final Fantasy VI Piano Collections is an impressive CD. I listen to it less frequently than I do Kefka's Domain (FFVI OSV), but more frequently than the disappointing Grand Finale. A couple of these tracks are straightforward, unaltered piano renditions - like the simplistic stuff done for Dragon Quest VI on Piano. But when Uematsu experiments with new arrangements, his results are fascinating.

Take "Stragus", for example. For fun, set your CD player on "random play" the first time you hear this disk. Strago's theme - a quirky and eccentric one to start out with - has been redone so that you won't even recognize it until about halfway through. I don't know how to categorize the style of this arrangement, so I'll take a risk and call it pseudo-modern jazz. It's a great piece, loud and self-assured even in its weirdness, that shows off both Uematsu's willingness to take chances and the pianist's technical skill. In "The Decisive Battle" Uematsu knew he couldn't mimic the rich sound of this track on a solo piano, so he reworked it into a rolling, flowing, frenetic piece that cuts the melodic line into pieces and tosses them around until hurtling into an almost cacophonic climax. "Coin Song" I had to hear more than once before I recognized it. The blaring, annoying Castle Figaro music has been sweetened considerably and now evokes the tenderness, sadness, and dignity that marks the Figaro brothers' friendship.

The other tracks are just what you would expect - an eerie "Mystic Forest", the ironically bourgeois "Gau", the demented and witty "Cefca", etc. "Tina" starts off sounding like a Hollywood tearjerker but develops the passion of an emotional storm. Also present is my favorite version of "Celes" - quiet and appealing, and not as grating as the bombastic "operatic" piece on Grand Finale. It also has my least favorite "de Chocobo" - frivolous and too leisurely to be a proper "Waltz" anyway.

Overall, Final Fantasy VI Piano Collections is a must-have for a collector, and has perhaps a little more general appeal than the other FFVI CDs because hey, everybody likes some good piano.

Simply astonishing.

Reader review by Gary King

Next to probably Final Fantasy Symphonic Suites and FF:Pray, this if my favorite arranged album (and 3rd favorite album overall). I love the piano, I love playing the piano (just *try* playing that middle section of Spinach Rag ;), and I love this CD. Uematsu's arrangement of Tina is so perfect I couldn't believe my ears... I'm still debating whether Ohki's "Toki no Hourousha" or Uematsu's piano arrangement of Tina is better (it is *that* good). While some tracks are less than stellar (I never really cared for the Mystery Train in FF6 as it was), and Cefca's arrangement seemed to lose that awesome Russian flare that was present in FF6, none are bad. And then there are always the stand-out tracks, which in my opinion are Tina, Celes (another perfect arrangement), Children Run Through the City Corner, Johnny C. Bad, Coin Song, and Spinach Rag.

All in all, this is a CD that really no collector should be without: a moving, emotional collection of arrangements of some of the best pieces from the amazing FF6. Anyone that enjoys either piano music, Uematsu, or video game music in general would probably benefit from owning this CD. Because it's so difficult to get, my suggestion is that if you think you just *might* be interested in it, buy it whenever possible! This is an excellent CD, an excellent book, and an excellent addition to *any* CD collection.

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