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OCR03621 - Final Fantasy IV & I "Hymn to the Crystals"


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THIS IS NOT JUST ANOTHER PRELUDE TRACK - YES, YES, 100X YES to the remixer that takes this source and delivers a remix so unique, it immediately stakes out space in my remix library as the reverent example of the tune. The non-choir parts work gorgeously - the handling of 2:55+ and particularly the harp work in 3:20 through the end is downright breathtaking. And for once - for once! - I had a strong disagreement with some of the judges - to hell with your talk about samples! In my opinion, this reminds me more of the source, not less, as Nobuo Uematsu routinely had the FF I-IX games pushing the limit of the soundscape their requisite systems could deliver. The choir parts provide what the remixer is going for, and to hear that handling of the melody and harmonies was breathtaking. I think I would have loved it with a single xylophone and a violin that could only play 4 notes.

It was like flying a whale to the moon and hearing a solstice ceremony at the Lunarians' high temple. My thanks to the remixer for the trip.

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First and foremost, this arrangement is incredible.  Holy smokes, I'm not sure I'm going to have words to give voice to how much I like the solo soprano part, and the Debussy-esque floating just before the three-minute mark at 2:56 or so.  Tremendous work here that everyone needs to experience that reminds me of the vocal stylings of Eric Whitacre and Christopher Tin -- and I don't make comparisons to either of them very often.

I agree with the judges that the production brings it down some, however.  One of the problems of being compared to the great vocal arrangers of our time is that their work demands great vocal performers, and it's apparent that we don't have that in the choir here (save for the excellent soloists).  For me, the bass clef choir voices -- especially the few moments they have to carry us forward -- really stand out as artificial, which brings me out of the experience.  I'm a little surprised none of the judges had anything to say about 2:48 (the worst production moment for me after the initial vocal hold that's been discussed elsewhere), but will assume it's because the aforementioned pause is SO GOOD right after that.

That being said, it's one of the great vocal arrangements on the site, and we have precious few that make full use of a choir (largely for logistical reasons).  Absolutely incredible arranging skills here -- if you ever need voice parts recorded, I imagine that you'll have a number of volunteers (including me, fwiw) happy to step up and help your work shine as brightly as it might.



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