Trusty Bell ~Chopin’s Dream~ Original Score


Review by · October 17, 2007

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.

For information on our scoring systems, see our scoring systems overview. Learn more about our general policies on our ethics & policies page.
Dennis Rubinshteyn

Dennis Rubinshteyn

Dennis was part of RPGFan's reviews team from 2007-2012. During his tenure, Dennis bolstered our review offerings by lending his unique voice and critique of the world of RPGs. Being a critic can be tough work sometimes, but his steadfast work helped maintain the quality of reviews RPGFan is known for.