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Legend Of Zelda 25th Anniversary – The Wind Waker Symphonic Movement


Legend Of Zelda 25th Anniversary – The Wind Waker Symphonic Movement 

By: Kirsten Grove-White

From January 23 until March 14, 2012 (that’s when the Zelda Symphony performs at the Orpheum Thetre in Vancouver BC, Canada), I’m going to be analyzing the various songs played by The Legend of Zelda 25th Anniversary Special Orchestra CD once a week.

This week, I’ll focus on The Wind Waker Symphonic Movement.

The music of Wind Waker is some of my favourite of the Legend of Zelda series. The soundtrack had a very different feel than all of the other games, and I enjoyed the folksy feel to it. The music gave the game a real flair, which is why I think it was so memorable – plus Wind Waker had some of first really programmatic music of the series.

We start off with a very abbreviated version of A Legendary Hero. The harpsichord from the original version is swapped out for harp, giving it a much gentler feel – which allows for an easier segue into the whimsical and light-hearted theme of Aryll/Outset Island. A lot of time is taken on this theme, which I wish they hadn’t done as it’s not one of the best ones from the game. However, I do quite like the intimate tone it has, created by having solo flute and violin playing the melody. It easily flows into the very programmatic sea music, with its rolling ostinato (reminder of what an ostinato is: the bassline of the Habañera that perfectly invokes the image of the cerulean cel-shaded sea.)

This leads into a more dramatic call and response section with the main theme of the series (the same technique was used on that theme in the 25th Anniversary Medley too, remember?) between the high and mid brass, before we launch into my second-favourite part of this album: the music you hear when you set out to sea on the pirate ship. It’s majestic and programmatic, and it has a great French horn line – what more can you ask for?

My favourite part of this piece cleverly slides into the silly and playful pirate’s theme, which I rather like this rendition of – especially the drunken-sounding variation on Zelda’s lullaby at 4:03. There is a brief disconnect, and then Aryll’s theme is restated by plaintive violin before the ‘danger’ section of the piece is hinted at. But first, we have a full statement of the open sea theme in full fanfare style, which is just how it should be. We launch into another series theme fanfare, before the main theme is again stated by a plaintive violin at 6:14, like it was in the 25th Anniversary Medley. I like what Kondo’s done with that – perpetuating a treatment of a theme throughout the album.

The march-ish section that comes after is a little bland, and my least favourite section of the piece. It just strikes me as something that would be dull to play. Thankfully, though, the maelstrom music comes to the rescue, with a dramatic theme and fun rhythmic lines for the entire orchestra to play. It certainly wakes you up after that walking-pace march. Ganon’s theme is treated more as a march here, which I like – sometimes it can seem too stately. The blatting we hear in the tubas helps get rid of some of that unwanted elegance as well.

But the danger section is soon over, and we’re back into the rolling ostinato before we get another great section of the piece: the opening screen music, which uses the Earth God’s Lyric and the Wind God’s Aria as thematic material. The solo flute and solo violin offer an intimate, folky tone which permeates the entire game. Aryll’s theme is used as a countermelody over the statement over the Wind God’s Aria, which is a nice touch. The ending of this piece is not wonderful, but not nearly as annoying or ill-suited as some of the others on the album.

This is one of my favourites of the album – it seems more well-rounded that the other Symphonic Suite, and simply has better thematic material than some of the other pieces.

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Posted on February 7, 2012, in Video Game Soundtracks and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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