The newest, biggest, and most complete version of the Dragon Quest IV Symphonic Suite is the 2005 Tokyo Metropolitan recording. This album includes two new tracks, and comes to a total of 73 minutes (6 minutes longer than the previous “longest DQIV album” champion). However, being the Tokyo Metropolitan, you may or may not appreciate the recording and mixing of this version.
Let’s start by talking about the two additions. Track 6 includes some battle themes that were not previously featured in the end battle medley “Battle for the Glory.” This new track is 3 minutes long, and it follows an A B A presentation format. Then there’s track 11, “Pissarro,” which is a character melody written for the mysterious, semi-redemptive villain of Dragon Quest IV. This is a surprisingly beautiful song, and I’m glad to have it included.
Otherwise, the album is more of the same. Very little of the arrangements have changed. However, the dynamic levels have been normalized (as with all the Tokyo Metropolitan releases), and the performance by the Tokyo Metropolitan is generally softer, more subdued. While I personally find pleasure in analyzing the differences between the recordings, and tend to enjoy the differences in each, some people swear by the NHK or Lond Philharmonic recordings and shy away from the Tokyo Metropolitan Symphony Orchestra. To each his/her own, I suppose.
Being the newest print, this is the most available print of the Dragon Quest IV Symphonic Suite to date. You can’t go wrong with Koichi Sugiyama’s music. If you don’t have any version of this album yet, and you just want the most readily available (and hence, cheapest) version, look no further. You found it.