It connects with you in a way that is very personal.
Reader review by Eric Bowling
Romancing SaGa 3 - Windy Tale, is perhaps one of the greatest arranged CDs of the '90s. If people ever doubt the musical genius of Kenji Ito, then all they have to do is pop this CD into their players and experience the subtle moody power that this man evokes in his compositions and arrangements. The mood of the music on the CD is very much like that from its predecessor, Romancing SaGa 2 - Eternal Romance - very light in mood and extremely relaxing. You won't find any clashing cymbals, wailing guitars, or overtly loud instrumentals at any time on this CD. Also, if you're looking for triumphant marches and themes a-la the Final Fantasy and Ys series, you won't find them here either. It's completely low key. Now, the question is: "Is this a bad thing?" The answer is a resounding "no". The orchestrations are top-notch. Strings, flutes, oboes, clarinets... Ito has arranged every piece of the orchestra into one fluid, emotionally stirring body, beautifully effective in its delivery.
"Windy Tale" begins with "Overture", a brilliant piece that uses the orchestra to its fullest extent, with rising and falling flutes, gentle harp strummings and light brass, among others. It's only 2:41 long, but as an opening overture, it sets the mood and tone for the entire CD. Also, some fans may recognize a passing similarity with the notes in the beginning of this song and those from the opening movement of the Final Fantasy VI opera.
Track 2 starts out very soft and peaceful, transitioning between piano solos and wind and string instrumentals. Then, it builds in intensity to a more uniform sound that is extremely moving, before reaching a high-point climax, then downshifting into a charming piano solo that leaves you feeling very satisfied indeed.
If listening to the Dracula Perfect Selection rock arrange CDs made you want to air guitar, then Romancing SaGa 3 will make you want to air violin or piano. From the beginning, it grabs you ever so gently by the heart and soul and pulls you in. I was a goner after track 2.
Track 5 is a much more upbeat selection - a waltz with a great violin and piano accompaniment. Very upbeat and fun to listen to. If you are into waltzes, then this is one of the best. Another excellent song is "Fairy's Whisper", a track with a vocal accompaniment. I'm afraid that I cannot translate the name of the beautiful woman whose voice sings this song as well as two others on the CD. It's truly beautiful, and goes along with the orchestrations perfectly, so the singing never feels out of place. It is as if the soul of the music itself is calling out to you.
The last track is a re-orchestration of the first, expanding on it extensively (to 7:25) and adding vocals. This brings the CD full circle, creatively and musically. Starting out softly with the overture (track one) and building in overall intensity through tracks 5 and 6, then slowly coming back down with the use of vocal arrangements, the CD comes to an inevitable but perfect end.
This is definitely music you can relax to. It affects a deeper area of your brain, connecting with you in way that is more personally special than with any other kind of music CD. It is just as stimulating as the louder, more intense tracks on other CDs, even more so because of its somber emotional groundings. It's just beautiful.