|Final Fantasy IV Piano Collections|
|Catalog Number: PSCN-5008 (first print N38D-010, reprint NTCP-1001)|
|Released On: September 24, 1994 (first print April 21, 1992; reprint May 23, 2001)|
|Composed By: Nobuo Uematsu|
|Arranged By: Shirou Satou, Osamu Saitou (track 14)|
|Published By: NTT Publishing (first print Square Brand/NTT, reprint NTT Publishing)|
|Recorded At: Unknown|
|Format: 1 CD|
01 - Prelude
02 - Theme of Love
03 - Prologue...
04 - Welcome to Our Town!
05 - Main Theme
06 - Chocobo-Chocobo
07 - Into the Darkness
08 - Rydia
09 - Melody of Lute
10 - Golbez, Clad in the Dark
11 - Troian Beauty
12 - The Battle
13 - Epilogue
14 - Theme of Love Practice Track (Orchestrated)
I'm a big fan of Final Fantasy IV. I consider it to have the most enjoyable music out of all the Final Fantasy games, including VI. It's my personal preference based on not only nostalgia, but also an evaluation of the composition and emotion included in the pieces.
That being said, it shouldn't come as any surprise that I really enjoyed Final Fantasy IV Piano Collections. While I am very picky when it comes to any type of piano album, having had bad experiences with some, I truly appreciated this one. Theme of Love is so well suited to piano that it's given new life on this album. The acoustics in the recording studio do incredible things to pieces such as Welcome to Our Town and Melody of Lute, while themes such as Chocobo-Chocobo add a nice little jazz touch to the classic tune we all know and love.
If there are any tracks that suffer from the piano arrangement, it has to be Golbeza Clad in the Dark. It just sounds too plain at points, that it doesn't quite fit in with the rest of the album. Troia Beauty also sounds simple, and the arrangement doesn't keep in step with the original piece, in my estimation. Even though the arrangement is innovative, I just didn't care for it too much. Too much dissonance for my taste, I suppose.
Overall, however, this album is simply fantastic. It went into reprint a few years ago and should still be available in game music stores such as GMO and Anime Nation. If you're a fan of Final Fantasy IV and/or piano music, this is definitely the album for you. Great use of acoustics, a faithful, yet not too derivative rendition arrangement, and a wonderful pianist make this album a true gem.
Reviewed by: Damian Thomas
The music on this CD is quite simplistic, especially compared to the other FF Piano Collections. However, its simplicity calls for a different feeling, and it is still great. Basically, like FF5-6 Piano, this CD was rare as anything (until the reprint). Unless you plan on buying the reprint, the only place you can get this is on eBay... Now that the reprint is out, it shouldn't cost nearly as much. The reprint itself costs about $25 and can be found at stores such as Anime Nation.
Oh, the real appeal of this to piano players is the fact that the CD (not the reprint, only the original) comes with a hard-cover booklet featuring complete sheet music to every song on the CD...Note the front cover of this CD is a book because it doesn't come in a case. The CD is put ON the front, which is a great idea!...unless you are unfortunately incapable like me and accidently break the little plastic device that allows the CD to stay in the front.
Even though the soundtrack is "simple" (I think people say that because there is a LOT of repetition), even skilled piano players will have problems playing certain songs to perfection. Examples would be the faster, more jazz-oriented songs (the one section in Chocobo is just WAY crazy...for me anyway); and "The Battle" is a very LONG song so if you plan on memorizing it, know that it takes a lot of work. Other songs, such as the Main Theme, are very easy...these are the type of songs you teach your younger siblings to play (and your younger siblings haven't taken any formal piano lessons!). Still, the songs are played with amazing skill and otherwise great dynamics and ornamentation. I recommend this collection to any avid piano player that wants to get deep into the world of Final Fantasy.
Note that this piano collection is different from all others because there's a bonus orchestra track at the end, so it's not ALL piano.
Again, note that there have now been a series of reprints run on the FF IV-VI Piano Collections. The information for them is above, and they come at a much cheaper price than the originals. The one problem is, of course, they don't come with the hardcover book filled with the sheet music. It's just a CD now. Ah well! You can pick it up at GMO or AN.
Reviewed by: Patrick Gann