Concert Review - Symphonic Memories

On Saturday, I went to Symphonic Memories at the Konserthuset in Stockholm, performed by the Royal Stockholm Philharmonic with a solo by Rony Barrak.

The concert featured the premiere of an arrangement from Final Fantasy XV called In the Shadow of the Crystal. If any of you have been around my blog or my Twitter feed since July 2017, you'll know FFXV kinda took over my life in a way only my favourite things do. I've loved Yoko Shimomura's music since I first heard her Kingdom Hearts soundtrack, and her FFXV score was the reason I picked up the game in the first place. And I was not disappointed by the arrangement. Powerful, menacing, and occasionally tragic, it featured numerous battle themes, including Stand Your Ground and Veiled in Darkness, both of which I loooooove. The use of the piano's lowest notes for ARDYN really stood out for me. So menacing! I adored how the beautiful piano/violin duet of Somnus flowed through the entire orchestra. The entire time I sat there thinking don't end, don't end! I need more FFXV!

But it wasn't just Final Fantasy XV. Hearing the Final Fantasy VI symphonic poem, Those Born With The Gift of Magic, live for the first time was amazing. I love the use of Terra's theme throughout, and the way the string section make their instruments sound like Kefka's laughter always astounds me. The poem really conveys the games lighter moments but not without losing the dark depths of the story.

From VI, we went to VIII. I heard this live in London back in 2015 and it has only gotten better. Liberi Fatali is one of Uematsu's best pieces, and it's used so well here. Plus I adored hearing Waltz for the Moon performed by the orchestra.

Photo Courtesy of Tony Lundman Many thanks for letting me use it!

To finish, we had the amazing Chronos Suite from Chrono Trigger and Chrono Cross, pictured above. I never get tired of hearing this live, and Rony Barrak's performance was astounding. His solo was amazing, and he really knows how to tune into his audience. Oh, and the conductor got so into the performance, his baton went flying out of his hand! Finished the suite like a pro though, as did the orchestra.Very impressive!

The arrangements created by the team at Videogame Concerts are so brilliant because they manage to encapsulate entire parts of the games and take me right back to how I felt during those original play-throughs. I sat there with a massive grin on my face like "Yes! You've included that piece from the FFXV OST. Thank you!" 

A great night, with amazing music played by superb musicians. And it brought me to Stockholm! It's a great city, and you should all visit ^_^


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