ReMix:Castlevania: Symphony of the Night "Scriabin's Long Library" 1:52


Posted 2002-12-29, evaluated by the judges panel

It's a shame piano-meister Michael Contraveos couldn't lend a slightly cleaner, more open recording of this lovely Castlevania: SotN solo piano arrangement - we bugged him and did get a better version than what we initially received, but given the innovation in arranging it'd still have been nice to hear more transparent audio. For the less musically-learned amongst us, the mix title refers to one Alexander Scriabin (1872-1915), a Russian composer with some very strange ideas who explored the outer boundaries of harmony, into atonality. In fact, resident know-it-all Disco "Mad Theory Skillz" Dan Cabrera notes that this particular arrangement isn't quite as dissonant as many of Scriabin's works, and likens it more to Chopin. But I digress. Dan appreciated the complexity of the arrangement, and so might you - it does go above, beyond, and outside traditional OCR solo piano arrangements, which usually favor ornamentation and moving arpeggio patterns over deep+"daring" harmonic structural changes. Towards the end there's a cool run and some tricky bits but most of the appeal is in the chromatic and challenging aspects of what Michael's done with the composition. Not easy listening, and not an ideal recording (shoot the volume up and perhaps EQ to favor treble and you're halfway there, tho), but very interesting and original and something to appreciate both for technical compositional merit and for musical effect. Neat.



Latest 15 comments/reviews; view the complete thread or post your own.
on 2010-06-15 09:16:36

Here! Here! *adjusts monicle* O_o


on 2009-12-04 13:02:14

Definitely really nice work! The first few seconds seem to mimic Scribin's etude Op. 8 No. 12 (in a different key) and the return of the main theme near the end at about 1:23, really reminds me of his etude op.2 no. 1.

on 2009-03-24 09:17:33

Like life, this remix if fleeting. Really, I think the arrangement is so great that another minute of exploration would have been lovely. Of course i'm going to say something about the recording quality, which is unfortunate that it's so muffled, but the arrangement is really good. Though they weren't especially elegant in stating their opinions, I can see why the judges were torn on this. Great dynamic contrasts, and the source is apparent throughout, but radically ornamented. Cool stuff, I really enjoyed it.

on 2007-09-17 11:21:19

(Also: If anyone knows of any sheet music, kindly point me in the general direction~)


on 2007-08-25 07:25:05

I can't really say anything that hasn't been said, but I still feel I should give my compliments where they're so utterly due.

Quality aside (pft, you should hear some of my miserable recordings~) this piece is brilliantly arranged; the whole thing is practically rewritten. You've found the perfect balance for an arrangement, as it is familiar enough that I recognize it -knowing- the piece from which is is derived, but at the same time so innovative that if I wasn't told it was from Castlevania, I might just think it was an entirely new piece.

It may be lost on a lot of listeners, but thus far, this could well be the most intelligent remix I've listened to.

(Also: If anyone knows of any sheet music, kindly point me in the general direction~)


on 2007-04-28 12:37:49
I am absolutely horrified by the tepid reception of this piece.

Likewise. This piece is actually way too good to be so casually reviewed. Granted, it's a bit on the short side, but it's packed with complex arrangement, fantastic musicianship, and it's just an incredible piano piece to listen to.

on 2007-01-30 22:57:41

I thought that this piece of music was really cool. Especially since I've recently been getting into those classical violin and piano pieces. So I personally appreciate it. :D

on 2005-08-23 11:31:49

I've had this one burnt and in my car for a long time now. This is not something you chill to, but the work done to empathize with a real Scriabin etude is amazing. As for the recording quality, I myself feel as though it sounds like an old recording, perhaps being played on a phonograph. If it just had some scratchy fx, maybe the softness problem would have been overlooked in favor of authenticity. :)

on 2005-08-23 09:07:14

I am absolutely horrified by the tepid reception of this piece. Yes, it's too quiet... but since when have production values replaced musicianship and originality as paramount qualifications of good music? To me, this arrangement both embodies and transcends the purpose of ocremix. It's a piece that is powerful, reminiscent of the original, yet capable on its own terms and worthy of respect. But it's also ethereal; like the most perfect ice sculpture whose beauty slips away even as you cherish it forever. The dissonance is fervent and passive, the melody jarring and enthralling. The music here is not the childish musing of an adolescent; it's the product of a mature musician spreading his wings to soar.

MC puts on display a raw talent for music that shames most professionals. I am astounded into a state of almost childlike wonder by the profundity of musically apt individuals milling around on this website. Even so, I place this piece, and MC, on the top of the pyramid. Please, Mr. Contraveos, continue to awe me. Music like this makes everything worthwhile.

on 2004-10-11 17:16:17

I have never heard the original song, but since i saw Scriabin in the title i decided to give it a shot. It's a really good variation of Scriabin's Etude in D sharp minor. And yes, Vladimir Horowitz's interpretation is remarkable. Good work MC.

Royal Sovereign
on 2004-07-15 13:04:34

Forgive me, but I'm disappointed. Taking the Wood-Carving Partita and turning it into semi-dissonant, meandering piano piece is quite a letdown. The talent is there, but the remix is SO divergent from the original one could pass this off as just that -- an original composition.

Disco Dan
on 2003-09-08 13:23:07

I think I didn't review this before because I had never played the game, but after playing the game (and checking the site to see there are a mere 2 mixes on the site from the game, and only one from the actual game (for shame!)) I felt it was necessary to listen with fresh ears.

This game, SOTN, has me under the influence. I don't know what it is, but it's a soundtrack so varied, between classical, baroque, metal, techno, ambient, jazz, it's all there. I'm just ... guh.

Anyway, the arrangement. (I refuse to call a song in this style a "mix" or "remix")

Arrangement, performance, and interpretation (which I guess also falls under arrangement, since the performer is also the composer in this case) are ALL top notch. My gripe, like others would be:

1) the recording is VERY quiet. Turn it up too loud and the hiss gets loud with it. I realize mic'ing a piano is not a simple task given standard home equipment, so this can be looked past. Plus there are some pretty crappy recordings of professional performers and orchestras out there that are on CDs that you PAY for, for crying out loud.

2) the length is short, but about right for a piece of that style. But it would be nice to see the theme expanded and played upon more, but that would fall more under a theme-and-variations type of piece.

But once again, a nice interpretation and a flawless performance. Thanks for putting at least one piece from this great soundtrack up here for the masses.


on 2003-04-05 16:13:39

MC is the best. Powerful, and dramatic. Great work!

on 2003-01-20 02:34:24

Hey- Thumbs up on this sweet mix! The skill you have is quite evident! Which makes me glad that we are now going to try a collab on that Panzer Dragoon Orta tune! 8)8)8) Keep up the good work (especially for me :D )!

on 2003-01-12 20:46:52

Well, the synth is incredible! There were relatively few moments where I could tell I was listening to a synth - and even then it was subtle.

As for the recording - it's minor, really. Nothing a Digital Audio Labs CardD and some decent cabling can't fix. :)

Sources Arranged (1 Song)

Primary Game:
Castlevania: Symphony of the Night (Konami , 1997, PS1)
Music by akiropito,Jeff Lorber,Michiru Yamane,Rika Muranaka,Tomoko Sano,Tony Haynes
"Wood Carving Partita"

Tags (4)

Arrangement > Solo
Time > Duration: Short

File Information

3,237,281 bytes


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