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The Legend of Zelda Hyrule Symphony :: Review by Jon Turner

The Legend of Zelda Ocarina of Time Hyrule Symphony Album Title: The Legend of Zelda Ocarina of Time Hyrule Symphony
Record Label: Media Factory
Catalog No.: ZMCX-102
Release Date: January 27, 1999
Purchase: Buy at eBay


Looking for Zelda music performed by an orchestra? Well, look no further! This arranged album of The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time is your ticket to orchestrated Zelda music... sort of. The "orchestra" is mostly a string ensemble, which is not bad by any means, but just not full enough to be an orchestra. There are a couple of additional instruments every so often in some tracks such as a guitar, an ocarina (duh!), and a piano, but overall, the orchestra is a rather small ensemble.


All that said, The Legend Of Zelda: Ocarina of Time Hyrule Symphony isn't bad at all for what it is. All the musical arrangements are excellent, and they remain faithful to the original compositions. I was pleasantly surprised with all the tracks, due not only to how identical they sounded to the originals, but to how fluently they were performed. The vocal performance on "Lon Lon Ranch" is beautiful (and it sure beats listening to the synthesized voice on the original game soundtrack). I wasn't so sure at first about "Zora's Domain", "Gerudo Valley", and "Goron City" all being performed by an orchestra (these pieces were never intended for a symphony orchestra), but they pulled it off well. A very nice surprise.

Out of the thirteen tracks on this album, two are medleys of various themes. "Ocarina Medley" features all 12 of the Ocarina songs (yes, even the duet performances with Sheik, such as "Minuet Of Forest" and so on). They are all arranged brilliantly and beautifully flow with one another for each transition. I didn't think this would be possible (the Ocarina songs are more like brief fanfares than songs), but the track works out well.

The last track (and arguably the best) is a treat for Zelda fans. Titled "The Legend of Zelda Medley", this track contains various melodies from *all* the previous Zelda games (such as The Legend Of Zelda, The Adventure of Link, A Link To The Past, and Link's Awakening). All are performed, of course, by the string ensemble. This track brings back fond memories and is the highlight of the album. In fact, after listening to it more than once, I am wishing that there will be future album compilations of Zelda music — Link's Awakening and The Adventure of Link perhaps?


Overall, this arranged album is above average. It may not have as full of an orchestra as one might expect, but thanks to the amount of music (and the memories — there's a really cool booklet with history on the Zelda games, notes on the arranged versions, and messages from the creators), The Legend Of Zelda Ocarina of Time Hyrule Symphony is quite enjoyable.

Overall Score: 8/10