Final Fantasy VI Piano Collections
- "Rare, and a must-buy for Uematsu fans, although a couple arrangements are more interesting than others."
- "Simply astonishing."
- Nobuo Uematsu (composition)
- (arrangement, piano)
Tracks (41 minutes total)
- Released Jun 25, 1994 by NTT (catalog no. PSCN-5005, retail 3800 yen).
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.
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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