Soundtrack Central The best classic game music and more

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Adam Corn Mar 28, 2015 (edited Mar 28, 2015)

Final Symphony II has been announced for five performances in 2015. The new concerts will feature the following Final Fantasy series titles and Symphonic series arrangers:

- Final Fantasy V (arranged by Jonne Valtonen)
- Final Fantasy VIII (arranged by Roger Wanamo)
- Final Fantasy IX (arranged by Roger Wanamo)
- Final Fantasy XIII (arranged by Masashi Hamauzu, orchestrated by Jonne Valtonen)

Tickets for the September 12 London Symphony Orchestra performance went on sale several days ago, and can be purchased from the Barbican website. (Those interested in buying should do so asap as there are currently very few remaining.)

A concert has also been confirmed for Germany; the date for that concert, as well as the other three concert locations and dates, have yet to be announced.

More information available via VGMO's interview with producer Thomas Boecker.

Namorbia Mar 31, 2015

This is fantastic news. And I can't stop thinking about which titles they would do in Final Symphony III. Maybe I-III, IV, XII and XV or Tactics?

Adam Corn Apr 5, 2015

Namorbia wrote:

This is fantastic news. And I can't stop thinking about which titles they would do in Final Symphony III. Maybe I-III, IV, XII and XV or Tactics?

I have to say I'm a little disappointed that FFXII isn't one of the four suites. Seriously, along with FFIV and FFVI I'd say it begs for - and deserves - the orchestral treatment the most of any in the series.

And now that you mention it, it is a little odd not to see FFIV selected. In the USA at least it must be better known than FFV. Was the game release pattern in Europe different?

Maybe they actually are saving some for a Final Symphony III. I'd certainly love to see it.

Namorbia Apr 25, 2015

FF I–VI weren't released in Europe. The first FF game released here was VII. But generally I think the popularity of FF games in Europe is similar to that of the US.

If I remember correctly, a lot of people were asking (on Facebook, etc.) why they don't have FF VIII and IX in the first Final Symphony. I think that might be one reason those two games were included. FF XIII is a natural choice, since Hamauzu is involved in these concerts. FF IV is more popular in the West than FF V, but not in Japan, I think. I actually like that they included V instead IV, because it's more unexpected.

I agree, however, that IV and XII deserve a concert treatment (especially a Valtonen/Wanamo treatment!). I can't see a FS III without those games and the team would gain eternal respect from all those XII music fans (myself included). I'm sure IV would be a blast for Wanamo or Valtonen to arrange, since it's classic retro Uematsu with lots of quality melodies. But XII is a challenge because it's already so orchestral. How do you make an orchestral arrangement of orchestral music, that is different and interesting, but doesn't upset the listener because there's a violin instead of a flute for that beloved melody? Valtonen and Wanamo said something like that and thus prefer arranging music from retro games.

I do think FF VI–X are the most popular and draw the biggest crowds in Europe (just a gut feeling, what do others think?). So in that sense they have "used up" the best games. But Final Symphony has gained a good reputation, so I'm sure they would sell out with other FF games as well. I've never heard anyone say anything bad about FF IV music and it's still a big card to play.

I can't help but think that FS III would be a great opportunity to give tribute to Sakimoto with half a concert (XII and Tactics). Though business-wise FF XV would probably draw crowds, if it's out by then. They could also consider FF VI, since it still has lots of material to work with (character themes, Dancing Mad...) and Wanamo loves its music.

Namorbia Apr 29, 2015

New concert dates revealed!

August 29, 2015 — Bonn, Germany (link to official announcement)
April 1, 2016 — Tampere, Finland (no official announcement yet, date taken from orchestra's website)

So the Bonn performance will be the world premiere. Very similar pattern to the first Final Symphony, when they also had a German performance a few weeks before the London one. So three shows have been revealed so far and there's two more to go. Maybe Japan and Sweden?

Adam Corn Apr 30, 2015 (edited Apr 30, 2015)

Wasn't Japan mentioned already in one of the news releases or interviews? I'd say it's a pretty safe bet. I hope so anyway!

Namorbia May 27, 2015 (edited May 27, 2015)

Japan dates announced!
Performed by the London Symphony Orchestra!

Sep 27  — Osaka, Festival Hall Osaka — 3 PM
Oct 4  — Yokohama, Minato Mirai Hall — 1 PM and 6 PM

Tickets are 8,000–10,000 yen and will be available on June 11.
Tickets link here.
Official announcement link here.

I am so glad they are coming to Kansai. Amazingu, Xanadujin, you have to attend! And the Minato Mirai Hall in Yokohama is where Littlejack Orchestra always have their concerts. It's very nostalgic for me. I hope I can make it. I should be in Japan by October 1st.

jayavictory Aug 5, 2015

What does everyone think of the track selections for Final Symphony II? Is there anything you would have rather seen arranged? I was a bit befuddled by some of the inclusions:

Prelude to FFXIII / Vanille's Theme / Nautilus / Blinded by Light

Hunter's Chance / Vivi's Theme / Mourning the Sky / Silver Dragon

The Oath / The Landing / Don't be Afraid / Waltz for the Moon

Main Theme / The Dragon Spreads It's Wings / Decisive Battle (X-Death)

Namorbia Sep 1, 2015

I went to the premiere of Final Symphony II and wrote a review about it. I also included all the tracks that I could find in the arrangements.

To me it's more important that the arrangements work as a whole, than to hear the tracks I love. If you only have 20 minutes per game, it's impossible to include everything anyway.

Though having said that, I did feel things like "dang, I wish this track would have been featured more" or "why didn't they include any of these things?" and "wow, I'm surprised how much focus they put on THESE tracks" more than I did at the first Final Symphony. But the source material was better in the first Final Symphony. For comparison's sake, let's take FF6 and FF5. It's Terra VS. Kefka and Lenna VS. Exdeath. Now, which one of these sound better? Terra VS. Kefka of course, because those characters are great and their music is amazing. Lenna and Exdeath are quite forgettable and their music is just normal good enjoyable music.

Still, I was very impressed with the arrangements and loved the FF5 one, except for a few parts that either felt too long , short or random. But that's how I felt during the first Final Symphony and I'm always slow in "getting" the arrangements. I'm going to the London show as well and writing a separate review about it. Can't wait!

Namorbia Sep 18, 2015

I wrote a review about the London performance, which was a lot better, which is saying a lot, since the German premiere was already great. It was one of the best concerts I've ever been to and anyone with the chance should definitely go to one of the upcoming concerts.

Uematsu also revealed the FF VI Piano Collections arranger (Shiro Sagisu) during the pre-concert talk, which was a question I was hoping to get to ask him for years. I wrote a summary of the whole pre-concert talk in that review, there are some interesting things in it.

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