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Sorcerian Forever MIDI Piano :: Review by Chris

Sorcerian Forever MIDI Piano Album Title: Sorcerian Forever MIDI Piano
Record Label: King Records
Catalog No.: KICA-1196
Release Date: March 26, 1997
Purchase: Buy at eBay


In 1997, Sorcerian finally received the piano arrangement treatment. However, unlike its counterparts for the Ys and Legend of Heroes series, the Sorcerian piano album was not blessed with a live performance and instead it was entirely synthesised. From an arrangement standpoint, it's nevertheless an accomplished album and at least on par with its cousins. Arranger Tomohiko Kishimoto brings an array of styles to the album, ranging from jazz to romantic influences, while still carefully emphasising the feel and melodies of the original pieces.


The arrangement of the "Opening" theme is pretty exempletive of the entire collection. Tomohiko Kishimoto emphasises the material from the original with the introduction, presenting the original melodies on one hand against conventional arpeggios. The arrangement seems to capture the emotions lying behind the original and is quite heartfelt, though some of the nuances introduced with the MIDI synthesis sound a little unnatural. As the arrangement develops, it grows all the more captivating, since Kishimoto offers some twists on the original melodies and introduces a more jazz-influenced flavour. By the conclusion, it's clear that this is the definitive version of the opening theme, with just the correct balance between conformity and departure.

Kishimoto elaborates on the jazz influence on several of the subsequent arrangement. The town theme "Pentawa I" sounds jazzier than ever in his rendition here, offering meaty chords in the treble and a jagged bass. It's got so much character that many non-pianists would be fooled into thinking it was a true performance. "Peaceful Forest" and "Combat Scene" are more surprising choices for jazzy improvisations, but they are once again full of energy and charisma. At times, the synthesis is a problem since the chords often sound too heavy-handed, but this is a minor problem and partly comes down to personal taste. It's no easy feat, but these tracks easily rival those of Final Fantasy X-2 Piano Collection in terms of arrangement. It's just a shame they weren't studio-recorded too.

There are also several much more romantic arrangements on the album. The opening fluorishes of "Tower" are among the most impressive moments of the album and the subsequent body of the piece is simply heartbreaking. "Village", on the other hand, takes a simpler approach and is reminiscent of a conventional piano ballad. That said, the melody is so beautiful and touchingly harmonised that it is a definitive highlight of the album. Though a little redundant with each other, the two ending themes conclude the album in an emotional manner. They are full of human emotions, despite their synthesis, and are bound to inspire sentimentality and nostalgia.


Don't avoid this album simply because it is synthetic. While a studio performance would have been far better, the piano synth is still good quality and the manipulation is expertly done to offer plenty of contrasts in dynamic, articulation, and tone. What's more, Tomohiko Kishimoto's arrangemnts are very emotionally expressive and technically accomplished, so they supersede faults with the implementation. This easily ranks as Falcom's most accomplished piano album in terms of arrangement.

Overall Score: 7/10