The Legend of Zelda: Symphony of the Goddesses - Master Quest Review
-The Legend of Zelda: Symphony of the Goddess is a worldwide concert showcasing the timeless music from Nintendo's popular The Legend of Zelda franchise. The origins of the show date back to Jun 7, 2011; during Nintendo's press event for E3(Electronic Entertainment Expo) in Los Angeles, Ca. Jason Michael Paul Productions produced a four-minute overture spanning 25 years of Zelda music accompanied by images and video from the same period. The medley concluded with the Skyward Sword main score - which is The Legend of Zelda Theme in reverse.
After the performance, Zelda creator Shigeru Miyamoto went on stage at E3 and spoke about how The Legend of Zelda and it's music has evolved over the years and how important the music is to the franchise. The Legend of Zelda 25th Anniversary concert series tour was then announced and the show would be expanded from just a four-minute song into a full concert to be performed in Tokyo, Los Angeles and London. Each of these concerts were extremely successful, with special appearances of Eiji Aonuma(Nintendo Director and Producer of The Legend of Zelda series), Koji Kondo(Renowned composer of top selling video games franchises such as The Legend of Zelda, Star Fox and Super Mario Bros.) who also performed a solo on piano, Shigeru Miyamoto(Legendary video game creator of The Legend of Zelda, Star Fox, Super Mario Bros. and many more ) and Zelda Williams(daughter of late actor and comedian Robin Williams). Following these shows, the tour went worldwide in 2012 and became known as The Legend of Zelda: Symphony of the Goddesses. Produced by Jeron Moore and arranged by music director Chad Seiter.
The Legend of Zelda Symphony of the Goddess - Master Quest is conducted by Amy Andersson. Some background - Ms. Andersson began piano studies at an early age. She received her BMA from the University of Michigan and following graduate studies at Indiana University, received a MM in conducting from the Mannes College of Music in New York. She was awarded a conducting Fellowship to the Aspen Music School and her teachers have included Paul Vermel, Gustav Meier, Murray Sidlin, David Zinman, and the late Yakov Krezberg.
As the concert was set to start, Andersson walked out on stage to cheers from the enthusiastic audience. Without any time wasted, the Orchestra kicked off Act I of the show, with a popular collection of Zelda themes..
Act I of the concert began with the "Overture" consisting of The Legend of Zelda's Overture or "Main Theme", Ganondorf's Theme, Zelda's Lullaby, Hyrule Field and finally the Skyward Sword Theme.
As a long time fan of the Zelda series, hearing The Legend of Zelda Overture piece performed live by a complete orchestra, is really something to be experienced. The thunderous applause following the piece echoed my feelings completely. It's hard not to show your inner fan boy or girl when seeing this show's opening.
I've mentioned this to multiple people throughout the night but knowing full well, the time and care it takes it takes to properly sync music to video together—especially for a large scale project such as this concert—I need to point out how wonderfully the video matched the music being played. Whether it was a Boss Theme, Environmental Theme or Character Theme, the videos displayed the appropriate scenes. I also found it helpful, since I am not familiar with every single Zelda music piece out there, It helped show me from which game the music was being played, not only that but I discovered a couple new songs I have never heard before, that I really enjoyed. It got me interested in checking out the game it was written for.
I need to mention the lighting effects as well, when certain video clips were shown, the lighting above the orchestra would reflect the predominant colors of the scene(red, gold, green, ect.) and it would amplify the effect of the video and really, the music itself. Altogether, it could quite possibly the best video presentation I've seen in a video game concert thus far.
Following the fantastic overture, we see a short video message from the producer and co-director of The Legend of Zelda himself: Shigeru Miyamoto, as he reflects back on how simple the music was 25 years ago, its evolution over the years and how the games were designed for players to grow right alongside link as he travels though his adventures. Miyamoto's speech is the first of three Zelda creators/composers we hear from during the night. Next I'll break down the movements into individual musical pieces you'll hear during the show..
Gerudo Valley - Iconic song from The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time.
Boss Battle Medley - Which consists of the "Iron Knuckle"(from Ocarina of Time), "King Dodongo"(from Ocarina of Time), "Molgera"(from The Wind Waker), "Fraaz"(from Spirit Tracks) and "Fyrus"(from Twilight Princess) Boss Themes.
Suite from Majora's Mask - The suite includes the "Opening Theme", "Clock Town Music", "Goht Boss Battle Theme" and "Oath to Order" full-orchestral version.
A Link Between Worlds - Only two songs performed here "Hyrule Castle" and "Lorule Castle"(in the game A Link Between Worlds, the theme builds as you progress the castle).
After A Link Between Worlds finishes up, we see our second video message, this time from The Legend of Zelda Producer: Eiji Aonuma, as he speaks about his time producing The Legend of Zelda, exploring and finding new things for the franchise, where he hopes to see it go from here and then leaves us with The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time and The Wind Waker..
Prelude: The Creation of Hyrule - The Prelude begins with the opening "Creation Story" from The Ocarina of Time. Then the "Zelda Series Main Theme" begins with the lead violinist and then the entire orchestra joins in.
Movement I: Ocarina of Time - This movement contains a number of songs "Meeting Ganondorf/Zelda's Lullaby", "Deku Tree", "Title Theme", "Hyrule Field", "Lost Woods", "Sheik", "Ganondorf Battle", and finally "Last Battle".
Movement II: The Wind Waker - This movement contains the following Wind Waker songs "The Legendary Hero", "Outset Island", "Inside the Pirate Ship", "Reunion With Sister", "Ocean", "Wind Hero", "Ganondorf Battle" and "Staff Credits".
-After a brief Intermission(about 15 minutes or so) we continue with the second act..
Intermezzo: Great Fairy's Fountain - Aside from The Main Theme and Zelda's Lullaby, the Great Fairy's Fountain is one of the most recognizable songs in the Zelda series. An ethereal piece.
Next, we receive our third video message of the night from the legendary composer himself, Koji Kondo. He speaks about his time composing the music for the Zelda series, how music is a vital part of the emotional connection between the player and the world of Zelda, then says he hopes we enjoy the rest of the show with The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess and A Link to the Past.
Movement III: Twilight Princess - Now to my personal favorite game of the series. Movement III consists of "Title Theme", "Light Spirits", "Midnas Theme", "Hyrule Field Main Theme(choir added in this version)", "The Sealing of Ganondorf", "Ganondorf Battle(Final Phase)" and ends with a medley of "Midna's Farewell/Zelda's Theme" which was absolutely beautiful, you could honestly feel the emotion from the performance. Probably my favorite piece of the entire concert.
Movement IV: Time of the Falling Rain - This movement focuses on A Link to the Past. Here we have "Opening Theme", "Hyrule Castle", "Zelda's Lulliby", "Dungeon Music", "Agahnim Battle", "Dark World: Overworld", "Ganon Battle", "Ending Credits" and finally the triumphant "Legend of Zelda Main Theme". This last piece of the main show was my second favorite of the night, it was played perfectly and a great way to conclude the show.. or is it?
-Following Movement IV, we're given one last message from Nintendo Producer: Eiji Aonuma and Director: Shigeru Miyamoto. Wishing us well and hoping we enjoyed the show. Once the message was finished, the crowed continued to cheer and applaud, chants for an encore began. Then, the composer returned back to the stage.