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The Legend of Heroes Symphony Gagharv Trilogy :: Review by Chris

The Legend of Heroes Symphony Gagharv Trilogy Album Title: The Legend of Heroes Symphony Gagharv Trilogy
Record Label: Nihon Falcom
Catalog No.: NW10102450
Release Date: September 13, 2001
Purchase: Buy at VGM World


The Legend of Heroes titles have enjoyed numerous quasi-symphonic interpretations over the years, ranging from the Electric Orchestra albums of the Gagharv Trilogy to the more recent Super Arrange Versions for the Sora no Kiseki Trilogy. The Legend of Heroes Symphony Gagharv Trilogy attempts to unite music from the Gagharv Trilogy into an all-new symphonic suite. It features successive arrangements from The Legend of Heroes IV: A Tear of Vermillion, The Legend of Heroes V: A Cagesong of the Ocean, and The Legend of Heroes III: The White Witch presented by a high quality electric orchestra.


The A Tear of Vermillion movement is an atmospheric introduction to the album. The interpretation "A Legend" at last provides that dark cinematic interpretation of the game's main theme many desired in the original Electric Orchestra. "Bonds" meanwhile is a short but refreshing arrangement of one of the new compositions from the PC remake of the game. The juxtaposition of playful oboe and accordion melodies against feathery strings is just delightful here. "The Apostle" and "The Desire of the Gods..." meanwhile recount the much darker feel of the game's score with rasping dissonant orchestrations and reprises of the crisis motif from the opener. "A Tear of Vermillion" concludes the movement with a bright and romantic orchestration featuring the main theme from the game in possible its finest rendition.

The second movement on the album features the only arrangements ever created for the mostly disappointing A Cagesong of the Ocean score. The arrangement opens with a striking interpretation of Leone Fredrik Richter's main theme complete with thoughtful contemplations and several moody twists. The subsequent entries, "The Traveler's Prelude" for pizzicato strings and "Captain Thomas!" with its brassy fanfares, are some of the lighter additions to the suite. Listeners can also enjoy bombastic action-packed orchestrations in "For Those Whom We Must Protect" and "Dark Sunlight", as well as the vivid heart-grabbing interpretation of "Undersea Melody". As with the first movement, the suite ends with a relieving reprise of the main theme.

The suite concludes with five interpretations from the comparatively over-arranged White Witch score. The score exudes a considerably lighter feel than its predecessors with renditions of the sentimental "Little Heroes" or slapstick "Spirit in Our Eyes". Nevertheless, there are still spiritual and mystical undertones underlying these pieces. Following a romantic interlude, the suite achieves its climax with the bombastic dissonant orchestration "Invasion" and the much more funereal rendition of "Queen Isabelle". The album arguably saves the best till last, however, with the concluding reprise of the game's main theme "The White Witch Gerud". It's an awe-inspiring spectacle of orchestral colours and human emotions, leaving quite a legacy for the trilogy.


The Legend of Heroes Symphony Gagharv Trilogy is quite a production. It offers symphonic interpretations from numerous favourites from the Gagharv Trilogy featuring high quality arrangement and synthesis. The stylistic and emotional range of this album is very impressive, whether the bombastic action pieces, the light-hearted interludes, or the deep conclusion, and there are more than enough arrangements to keep Legend of Heroes fans satisfied. While the music for the series has been considerably overarranged over the years, this album is one of the more definitive versions.

Overall Score: 8/10