The “in Brass” series features a traditional, high school band setup. It’s a full symphony orchestra minus one section: strings. So you have the brass, but you also have woodwind and percussion. Those are the nature of these albums.
These arrangements essentially force the brass and winds to make up for parts that original went to the string section. If you believe it can be true that “less is more” from time to time, then you may enjoy this album. In many ways, though, it feels like an alternative to the symphonic suite. And in my mind, it is a lesser one.
That’s not to say the performance is anything less than excellent. I enjoyed the album a fair bit. My favorite part was probably the ending medley “March Dragon Quest IV.” The up-tempo Overture and quick run through all the greatest melodies of the game was fantastic. I would love an album that had eight of these tracks on one disc, just big medleys for the entire series.
This album is a very rare find these days, whether it be the original or the reprint (it seems the reprint is even harder to find because of its limited print run). If you’re going for a complete Dragon Quest collection, or even a complete Dragon Quest IV collection, you’ll have to find this album. Good luck!