3 years ago, I sat anxiously waiting for the orchestra to appear from the sidelines. With a curious gaze towards the stage and the many surrounding me, the shared excitement was palpable, and whispers echoed in the Philharmonic Hall as the seated audience prepared to experience game music evolved. I was at Symphonic Fantasies in the Cologne Philharmonic Hall on September 12th, 2009, and on that night, with tears in my eyes, I experienced what is the greatest video game music symphony ever produced.
Since that day, many shows have come and gone, many concerts have been set up around the world, but the impact that Symphonic Fantasies had on the industry is undeniable; it changed the playing field entirely. Audiences wanted more, deeper arrangements, pure production designs, greater stories. Simple medleys did no longer suffice; Symphonic Fantasies proved that game music, like any music, can become something much greater by understanding its message, its intentions, its soul. But even with a subsequent CD release, the demand was high from the eager fans to experience the concert for themselves. It was therefore that Thomas Böcker took his production and team to Japan at the Tokyo Bunka Kaikan, and returned home to the birthplace of the orchestral game music concert and the Square Enix video games, to show that the concept had evolved, and the music which so many hold dear, has grown up to become something much larger. The result was 2 sold out shows in Japan, heralded in the press and by its peers as a true achievement not easily matched. It was due to this success, that the decision was made to once again provide fans around the world the opportunity to hear Symphonic Fantasies in the form of an album release.
But is it worth the purchase a second time around? Find out after the jump! (more…)