Absolutely terrific symphonic arrangement of a classic soundtrack.
Reader review by Jon Turner
This orchestrated version of ActRaiser is a treat to fans who have played the game. All of the familiar songs from the classic Super NES game are here, from the epic, John Williams-ish overture to the spectacular finale. The only difference is that these tunes are performed by a live orchestra. The songs themselves are masterfully done and worth every single minute of listening. And to hear them performed by a symphony orchestra is a dream come true, especially since the original game versions sounded so similar to a symphony orchestra.
The performance by the Shinsei Nihon Symphony Orchestra is excellent, and all the songs are identical to the original compositions. They're all excellent, and worth listening to again and again. My personal favorite track is track nine, a very impressive suite of all the three exciting, furious battle songs from the game.
Surprisingly, the arrangement of "Fillmore" on this album reminds me somewhat of Bach's Brandenburg Concertos, without the harpsichords and with a full orchestra. I didn't expect this kind of treatment to one of the most rocking tracks in the game, but on the other hand, it still sounds so much like the original and is done very well.
The only problem with this album is that it's too short. An enjoyable endeavor such as this should be twice the length. This same kind of problem can be found in Symphonic Suite Final Fantasy, in that the album was so terrific that one cannot help but feel depressed when it finally comes to a close. Still, the CD is every bit as much a classic as the game; if you can ever find it anywhere, don't miss it.