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djpretzel

OCR02506 - Final Fantasy VI 'Dramatic Dark World'

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Dave mentions Wagner in his writeup, and there's something in perhaps the most iconic Wagner prelude (Tristan and Isolde) that is notably absent here after reading the writeup.

Music lesson time! If you read sheet music, click over to IMSLP and look at the first score under the Tristan and Isolde Prelude, item 2.1.3 -- we're talking about the first six measures or so. While that loads, queue up the

. Note the ambiguity of the chords at measures 3 and 6 -- they don't resolve to something satisfactory...and won't for the entirety of an opera nearly six hours long. It's this combined with other forms of harmonic suspension that makes the piece so compelling

In the remix proper, the bass note does not move in the opening chords, and the harmony is not as complex. I think a Tristan-esque moment delaying the resolution of the sequence (which occurs on the 4th chord of the piece in the Dark World remix) might have created a more engaging introduction that demans we listen onwards, waiting for the appearance of a tonic chord.

Here, because of the early resolution and resulting repetition of the four chord sequence, it becomes a little stale, as some of the judges have pointed out. The piece as a whole is good, but would be even better with a little more harmonic dexterity borrowed from Wagner (and Richard Strauss later on in the early 20th century, for that matter).

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I'm actually really digging how subdued this piece is. Yeah, you get the really strident brass, and some other instruments really come forward in a few places, but for the most part it just kind of... "hovers" I guess, like a dark cloud. I think the intro would've bothered me, except for how short of an amount of time it spends exposed before other instruments come in; as is, I'm probably siding with djpretzel in finding it more intriguing than anything. Nice one!

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Dave mentions Wagner in his writeup, and there's something in perhaps the most iconic Wagner prelude (Tristan and Isolde) that is notably absent here after reading the writeup.

Insightful analysis! I wasn't intending to express an exact match in terms of complexity, and your point about resolution is accurate - part of what I love about Wagner - but I still feel a general atmospheric kinship, probably due to the pacing more than anything else. I think this piece could definitely have been MORE Wagnerian, and I probably would have appreciated all the more for that, but I also felt like some of the judge comments were asking not for the tonal complexity you mention but for more lively & Classical part-writing.

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The Tristan chord! Ah music theory. I remember spending at least an entire class on just that chord; analyzing it and tracing its trajectory through the opera. Fascinating stuff! I didn't attempt to take any direct influence from Wagner on this, but I can see where you're coming from, definitely.

The static nature of the original piece is one of the things I like about it, to be honest. Perhaps it's my minimalist sensibilities. I'm a big fan of Arvo Part -- Cantus in Memory of Benjamin Britten, Fratres, etc. For the Cantus in particular, he makes a statement, walks away, and the listener is left to reflect/extrapolate on its meaning.

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Really interesting, this one. It really does sound like a nice classical piece that could fit in around areas like romantic periods in terms of arrangement, like something you'd hear in a grand recital's interlude or slower bit. It's a nice break to hear a ReMix like this after a lot of time with more popular genres and sounds. Love it.

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