01 - Pyroxene of the heart
02 - Think of me
03 - Raindrop
04 - Relaxing place
05 - Leap the precipice
06 - Well-done
07 - Two ends of my doze
08 - Reflect the sky, Bloom the life
09 - A faint light in my hands
10 - Everyone seeks the mediocre
11 - Underground for underhand
12 - Rapid fire
13 - A resolution to stand opposed
14 - Can you recite the dream?
15 - Illuminant lives
16 - A time when we are together
17 - It's Up to You
18 - Innumerable animals
19 - Pressure
20 - Flickering is divided into light and darkness
21 - Is it different or the same?
01 - Revolutionary
02 - Dive into the vast expanse of plains
03 - A stratagem
04 - A Wall with no Front or Back
05 - Breeze the conductor
06 - Wavering on the homefront
07 - DANTOTSU!
08 - A stance to not look down upon
09 - From strength to kindness
10 - journey to the projective mind
11 - A close attack
12 - I bet my belief
13 - Fantaisie-Impromptu
14 - Tranquility and inhabitation
15 - Wonderland of wanderer
16 - Endure and resist
17 - No No I don't die Noooo!
01 - Grande Valse Brillante
02 - A buffer for quiet
03 - A walk in the heart
04 - Seize the artifact for tallness
05 - A melody that treasure peace
06 - From tomorrow...
07 - A white mirror
08 - Rock and burn you
09 - Nocturne
10 - A step
11 - The boundary of snow and ice
12 - Repeated tide
13 - Stark determination
14 - La Chanson de l'adieu
15 - Continuous divider
01 - Your truth is my false
02 - Captured phantom
03 - The etudes of spirit
04 - Where we end up
05 - Spiral twister
06 - Broken balance
07 - The unreasonable theory
08 - Heroic
09 - Embarrassment consistency
10 - Scrap and build ourselves -from Revolutionary-
11 - Facts and honesty, and then the truth
12 - Light
13 - An important person
14 - Someone's evening, Someone's daybreak
15 - A mirror of heaven's flowers
16 - The shape of a life
Note: Trusty Bell ~Chopin No Yume~ is known as Eternal Sonata in the domestic version. I will be referring to the game by that name.
Eternal Sonata is about the final hours of a famous pianist named Frederic Chopin. Before he dies, he has a dream of being in a magical world where sick people like him gain immense magical power. There, he befriends comrades and sets off on a journey with them. For a game about a famous pianist, you'd think a lot of his music would be used. While his piano pieces are included, there are only seven of them in the OST. The majority of the music is composed by Motoi Sakuraba, and he went with orchestra as his primary medium. I may be a fan of his works, but this isn't one of my favorites.
Focusing on Sakuraba first, the album started off promising with "Pyroxene of the Heart." It starts off as a simple piano piece, and becomes more eerily beautiful when the vocals then violin comes into the melody. Like the track title says, "Relaxing Place," is an easygoing song, using clarinet and harp to create a peaceful ambience. I enjoy the game's battle theme, "Leap the precipice," because the violin and other instruments give an epic feeling to the song, and I liked the melody. The boss theme, "Opposition Resignation," did the same thing, but I didn't find it as interesting as the battle theme. The melody of "Illuminant lives," is mystical song that gets better when the song gets more haunting, but kept the enchanting style. I liked it because the melody was good, and the transition from enchanting to eerie was solid. There are a few other songs which made disc 1 to be a good start for the OST.
From disc 2 and onward, the weaknesses of this OST began to surface. I do like orchestra music, but the variation between songs began to shrink. These songs are not bad at all, but they lack distinction, and they weren't as enjoyable as the disc 1 music. A lot of songs use the violin and drums to create a dramatic affect, and it gets old after a while. There are numerous ambient and haunting themes, but they are weak in Eternal sonata. A lot of the ambient music is piano pieces that Sakuraba did, and I find them all to be dull with no interesting melodies. "Strategem" was the worst, and felt there was barely anything in the song. "Silence and Life" had potential because it started off nice, but throughout the song, parts of the melody felt scattered, thus killing what could've been an enjoyable piano piece.
Occasionally, there are some good songs present. "A wall with no front or back" isn't anything special, but it's a solid song. The violin is used well, and the other instruments complement the melody well to give the song some power. "I put my belief" is a very good boss theme with great violin, and thee timing and execution of the flutes was very good. "Endure and resist" is one of the few cases where the style is different, and at this point, it's a nice change. A guitar was used to create a laidback atmosphere, and flutes are used during the main portions of the melody. It is a bit simplistic, but I liked it. "White Mirror" is a beautiful song thanks to the great use of violin to create an emotional melody. There is no doubt these songs work extremely well in the game, but outside the game, it was not the same for me.
Now we move onto Chopin's seven piano pieces. Truthfully, I am not big on piano pieces, and I haven't really heard much of Chopin's pieces before. I might not appreciate his works as much as I should because I may not "get it." These pieces may not stick with me in the long run, but I did enjoy them, and got some understanding on why they are classics. Plus, they're much better than most of Sakuraba's piano pieces.
I found "Fantasy Impromptu" the most enjoyable amongst Chopin's pieces. The melody started off frantic which was a bit hard to swallow. After a while, the melody eases up, and it turned out to be quite enchanting. I also liked "Raindrops." It was simple, but it's catchy, and it has a lot of elegance. There were parts where the melody was a bit too gritty to my ear; otherwise it's a pretty song. "Nocturne" is also very good. Like the other songs, it has a high degree of elegance; this piano piece is consistently pleasant.
The rest are enjoyable, but I didn't find them as good as the three mentioned. Their melodies didn't click with me as much, and some I felt dragged on a bit. The only song I didn't really enjoy was "Revolution." It is a powerful piece, but the melody is a bit too chaotic, and I am not fond of that style in piano.
I did like the OST, but honestly, it's a tough sell. Sakuraba's latest work is a bit of a refreshing experience, but it's not his greatest achievement. I may like orchestra music, but it was difficult to get into, hearing the same style in succession with little variation along with many weak piano pieces. For fans of Chopin's work, this isn't the OST to hear his best selections. If you are a true fan of orchestra music, then this may be for you, but for the rest, listen to the samples and decide yourself. As it stands, Star Ocean: The Second Story, Valkyrie Profile, and Baten Kaitos remain my favorite Sakuraba works.
Reviewed by: Dennis Rubinshteyn