In case you didn't notice, Koichi Sugiyama loves to work with all manner of different musical ensembles, re-arranging and re-recording the music from the Dragon Quest series. I think there are more ways to arrange DQ music than there are to cook an egg.
The new "Wind Ensemble" series is non-string arrangements. In other words, think of high school band. You have woodwind, brass, and percussion. But no string section, and obviously no choir. Part I of this new series only has music from the Roto trilogy (I through III).
The quality of the arrangements, and the recording? Excellent, as is to be expected. The value of this album to a collector who already has multiple prints of the symphonic suites? Pretty low, of course. You're just dropping one layer of the symphonic orchestra and forcing other sections to pick up the slack.
One exception: the final track. This 9 minute piece is an incredible medley, applying different arrangements than what I'm used to hearing, and incorporating melodies that are often forgotten. It's a very impressive recording.
I look forward to Part II, which I assume will be the Tenku (Zenithia) trilogy. But I'm not chomping at the bit to have it, because, extending the food metaphor, I've already eaten an omelet for breakfast and egg salad for lunch. I can only handle so many variations of the same music in my life!
"The incredible audible DQ" indeed.
Reviewed by: Patrick Gann