Gasshou Kumikyoku Sailor Moon
[review by Titus Hsu]
Choral Suite for Female Chorus and Piano: Bishojo Senshi Sailor Moon
I have been living with this CD for about 5 weeks now. This CD resembles the Symphonic Poem in quite a few ways. This CD comprises six tracks, each of which is about 7 minutes in length. All tracks are assmebled from parts of previously written SailorMoon music. Unlike the Symphonic Poem, there is no original track on this CD. It is very similar to the Symphonic Poem in the way that it transforms light and easy-listening SailorMoon songs into something rather grand. Another thing in common with, or perhaps even more so than, the Symphonc Poem is that it really can use the help of a stereo system which can properly render the texture and express the dynamics of the midrange.
The first day I got it, the radically different images conveyed by the choral arrangement clashed with the original songs. I was rather disappointed and filed it for cold storage. It wasn't until a week later when I decided to try it again. I managed to get over the odd feelings of the songs and was favourably impressed. When I listened to it for the third time the next morning, I was becoming quite amazed. During the two weeks that followed, I had basically been brain-washing myself with the CD day-and-night. And the more I listened to it, the more I was amazed. At about the third week mark, I was pretty sure I much prefer this CD over the Symphonic Poem. The chorus adaptations are closer to the original songs than the symphonic adaptations, but the images are still very different. It takes quite a few listens to realize how much of the original essence of the songs have been preserved. It is very difficult to imagine how such a feat is ever possible...even the composer didn't think it was possible at first. He set out to transform the songs into chorus singings which are easy and kind to the ears, and it shows in the result. Now my hopes are high for the "Brass Fantasy" CD too.
The choir consists of 7 sopranos, 7 mezzo-sopranos, and 7 altos. The voices are bright and strong, while the singing is sweet with spirit. Each track consists of parts from several songs and BGM pieces, and the tracks can switch back-and-forth among them at times. Here is a list of what each track is composed of, along with some personal remarks:
1. OVERTURE: FANTASY"Love is Energy" - This is SailorMoon's images song, contained in a set of five singles and the "Poem Collection" CD. I haven't heard the original one yet, but this version is certainly very nice. Two verses of this song open track 1 and form the main part of it.
"Moon Light Densetsu" - A mono-syllable, hymn-type verse of the popular OP. Contrasting the lively image of the original, this version conveys a melancholic and mystic feeling of the ancient Silver Millenium.
"Princess Moon" - Only two lines are used. The song then closes with one more iteration of the refrain part of "Love is Energy".
2. MAKE UP(BGM) "Tuxedo Mask Theme" - Starts the track with a short, slow adaptation.
"I am Sailor Moon" - This is now the fourth version of the same song. There were two vocal versions, the symphonic version, and now the choral version. The singing preserves the liveliness of the original song, with the added beauty of female voices in unison. Like the previous track, two verses of this song forms the main part of the track.
(BGM) "Make Up!" - a slow version of the "R" transformation theme.
"koi suru otome wa makenai" - this is an adaptation of the OP. song for the PC Engine SailorMoon game.
3. PURE MIND"Deprive the Energy of Love" - this song is originally from the "Where is Love" album. I never paid enough attention to the original song to listen through even the first verse, and never realized this was actually Queen Beryl's image. After converting to a requiem type of music, it has the proper feel for the lyric. Still, a bit strange.
"setsunakute ii" - This is probably Sailor Venus' image from the Poem Collection album.
"Share the Same Tear" - S.Mercury's image from "Toward the Future". A bit faster than the original.
"Ai no senshi" - a slow adaptation of the song from "Toward the Future"
4. ACTION"Route Venus" - A slow, short version with no word. This track closes with more of "Route Venus" at the end. The part at the end is a complete iteration of the refrain part, with words.
"Ai no senshi" - Main body of the track. Fast like the original, but the scale of choral singing is still somewhat mismatched with the lyric of the song.
"tsuki ni kawatte oshioki yo" - The Moon, Mercury, Mars trio song from "Where is Love". The quality of the voice here is a definite improvement for this song.
(BGM) "Uranus, and Neptune" - The first part is a piano version of Uranus and Neptune's transformation theme. The dynamic of the high piano notes sounds fabulous, then when it goes into the chord with the foundation of the low notes, it sounds incredibly nice. The theme for World Shaking and Deep Submerge was also used later, but not as nice.
(BGM) "Transformation Theme" - Uses the voice part of the very original SailorMoon Make Up theme.
5. Lovely Girls"Otome no Policy" - If you like this song, you definitely have to take a listen to this album to hear how good it sounds when performed by a good female choir. This is definitely one of the best adaptations in this album. The arrangement of the Soprano and Alto parts is just awsome. The sopranos have a really good part, and they deliver an excellent performance. This is the main body of the song; two verses plus one more iteration of the refrain part interweave parts from the other two songs.
"Just Dreaming Isn't Good Enough" - SailorMoon's image from "In Another Dream".
"Say You Love Me" - The image song by Ishida Yoko originally from the "R" TV soundtrack. This version is slower than the original song.
6. FINALE: DESIRE"Moon Revenge" - This track opens with the two verses of "Moon Revenge". The instrumental intro to the original song has been replaced by a very smooth and beautiful piano intro. The singing is not as lively, but stronger and more robust. Dynamic in the rhythm has been supressed to sound darker and more solemn. Perhaps this image is more true to the lyric. The altos have a great part in this song, while the sopranos provide the support.
"Tuxedo Mirage" - This part is mainly alto until the refrain part. Initially, the altos may sound a bit too robust. The sopranos take over after it enters the refrain.
"Because We Were Born In the Same World" - Brlliant singing! This is the finale where the choir unleashes all the power in their voices, and the words of the song are very touching. A fabulous finish of the album. This is originally the ED. for the PC Engine game. Conveniently enough, the side graphic of this CD also supplies the code for the single: Forte Music, FMDC-510.
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