The aim with Piano Collections: Final Fantasy X was to consider the groundwork of individual compositions in order to transform these pieces into piano arrangements. That was preferable to simply performing music from the game on the piano. The success of the final product was in large part made possible by Kuroda-san's versatility as a performer.Masashi Hamauzu
Piano Collections: Final Fantasy X (ピアノコレクション - ファイナルファンタジーX, Piano Korekushon - Fainaru Fantajī X?) is a piano arranged album of tracks from Final Fantasy X, performed by Aki Kuroda. The liner notes have the tracklist in mixed Japanese and English, a picture of Nobuo Uematsu and Masashi Hamauzu watching Aki Kuroda play the piano, a profile of Kuroda and messages from Hamauzu and Uematsu.
- Zanarkand — 3:19
(ザナルカンドにて, Zanarukando nite?, lit. At Zanarkand)
- Tidus's Theme — 4:08
(ティーダのテーマ, Tīda no Tēma?)
- Besaid — 3:02
(ビサイド島, Bisaido Shima?, lit. Besaid Island)
- Hum of the Fayth — 6:18
(祈りの歌, Inori no Uta?, lit. Song of the Prayer)
- The Travel Agency — 3:01
(旅行公司, Ryokō kōshi?)
- Rikku's Theme — 2:50
(リュックのテーマ, Ryukku no Tēma?)
- Guadosalam — 3:09
- Thunder Plains — 3:21
(雷平原, Kaminari Heigen?)
- Assault — 3:29
- Via Purifico — 3:14
(浄罪の路, Jōzai no Michi?, lit. Path of Cleansing)
- Suteki Da Ne (Isn't It Wonderful?) — 4:18
(素敵だね, Suteki da ne?)
- Yuna's Decision — 3:02
(ユウナの決意, Yūna no Ketsui?)
- Servants of the Mountain — 4:04
(極北の民, Kyokuhoku no Min?, lit. Northern Tribe)
- Final Battle — 3:55
(決戦, Kessen?, lit. Decisive Battle)
- Ending Theme — 5:34
- Special Presents "Final Battle" (only in the Piano Collections sheet music book; same as the "Final Battle" arrangement with a new added section)
Liner notes (translated from the original Japanese)
The first time I met Ms. Aki Kuroda was a year ago, when she was the pianist at Rikki's live concert. Ms. Kuroda began formally studying classical piano when she was little and went on to graduate from the piano department at Tokyo University of Arts and Music, and yet her forceful tango piano performance at that show really surprised me. She seemed to play the Argentine tango more with her blood than with technique, which could I think be considered the more profound approach, and the result was truly splendid. As Final Fantasy is a series which blends various music genres together, I thought it would be good to have a performer who didn't incline towards any particular type of music and had a number of performance styles to hand, and so asked Ms. Kuroda to play for this album. Please enjoy Aki Kuroda's World to the fullest. And I would like to thank Mr. Hamauzu for his spectacular arrangements. You're a man who's going to go far.
- Nobuo Uematsu (Composer), January 8th, 2002
For someone like me, who usually relies upon MIDI, confronting the staff music for a piano score is an arduous process. You can't bury clumsy progressions in the mix, or alter the surface of the music with other instruments. You can't predict the results until the occasion of performance, when your sheet music is given interpretation. So you have to prepare the score with every bit of thoroughness and precision. It was a trying experience but, as someone who came to composing late, participating in such a musical project was a valuable opportunity to amass skills, for which I am extremely grateful. I've always appreciated the value of chances to darken staff paper with dots, and so accepted this job with a positive outlook.
At any rate, this was the most difficult project I've ever worked on. I had previously been given the responsibility of using the piano to encapsulate the world of SaGa Frontier 2, but when the title is "Collection", the meaning changes subtly. Rather than adapting myself needlessly to listeners' tastes, I was cognizant that to express my own integrity as much as possible, I needed to deploy my power without discrimination against any tendency. But the unusual consistency in my attitude here gave me nothing but trouble. I couldn't hide my irritation in my lack of ability. If I hewed only to established piano collection tradition, I would live or die by skills yet untested, and even if the results sounded "like" a particular style, they wouldn't hold up when compared to the real thing. Yet if I stuck only to my strengths at the expense of everything else, the result would depart from the connotation of "collection", and ignore the possibilities afforded by live piano performance. And while this was a rather hard choice, no matter how many avenues I explored or how much studying I attempted, I soon wound up with nothing but rage. I tried to absorb those techniques with which I lacked experience to the point where I could say they were a strong point, but the time I had to do it in was brief. My head filled up over many days. To take up the double-edged sword of carrying out my true intentions, or a lesser blade that would not exhaust my confidence? I finally arrived upon the aberrant path of taking the double-edged sword and sharpening it into a blade of truth. And Ms. Aki Kuroda's expert performance gave me confidence that my decision was the right one. I never expected at the start that I could do something that would be so satisfying. I thought of chalking it up to my dislike of studying, but it was really thanks to the depth of feeling that music itself possesses, a lesson I will carry with me always.
From the bottom of my heart, I thank everyone who gave me this wonderful opportunity.
- Masashi Hamauzu (Composer, Arranger), January 8th, 2002
Published by Yamaha Music Media, the Final Fantasy X Piano Collection Sheet Music book contains the sheet music for the tracks on the Piano Collections: Final Fantasy X album, plus a slightly different version of the "Final Battle" with an added section. The pieces are arranged for solo piano and the difficulty level is from intermediate to advanced.