The Royal Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra has published footage from its performance of Final Symphony, a concert featuring classic Final Fantasy songs rearranged for symphony orchestras. Final Symphony itself is just one of the programs produced by Spielemusikkonzerte, or Symphonic Game Music Concerts, a game music-themed concert series that has had shows all over Europe. The video only contains one movement from the Final Symphony program, a self-described “symphonic poem” made up of songs from Final Fantasy VI titled “Born With The Gift Of Magic.”
Orchestral performances of video game music have become pretty common, but the arrangement of this Final Fantasy VI medley, done by Roger Wanamo, is really striking. It begins with drama and valor of “Terra’s Theme,” with teases of other notable melodies slipping in and out, like the battle theme, which takes the spotlight later. The highlight has to be the second section and its focus on Kefka’s music. It starts out as a faithful copy of the mad jester’s plucky theme, but like Kefka himself, it quickly spins out of control and becomes an unpredictable, ever-intensifying waltz before reeling back and exploding with one final sinister roar.
The video itself was a bit finicky. If you’re having trouble getting it to work, there’s also an audio-only rip (embedded below) that someone has uploaded to YouTube. The footage is well shot, though, and well worth trying to overcome some technical difficulties.