The Legend of Zelda 25th Anniversary Symphony

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The official logo of the Zelda 25th Anniversary Symphony

The Legend of Zelda 25th Anniversary Symphony was a series of three concerts which performed in Tokyo, Los Angeles, and London on October, 2011 as part of The Legend of Zelda 25th Anniversary. The Symphony made its first appearance during the E3 2011 show, where Shigeru Miyamoto asked the Orchestra Nova San Diego to play some of the classic songs from the series, such as the Fairy Fountain medley, the jingle when a puzzle is solved, as well as the music played when a Treasure Chest is opened.

The Legend of Zelda 25th Anniversary Special Orchestra CD, which included music from the 25th Anniversary concerts, was released in conjunction with every copy of Skyward Sword.

Contents

Concerts

The Pantages Theater

The three premier concerts were part of a preview which preceded a full world tour, The Legend of Zelda: Symphony of the Goddesses. The music was hand-picked by Nintendo composer Koji Kondo and his team, while the concerts were produced by Jason Michael Paul, Inc., the producers of PLAY! A Video Game Symphony.[1][2]

In the Los Angeles and London concerts, the pieces were accompanied by synced videos featuring scenes taken from the Zelda games which were projected behind the orchestra.[3][4] This feature was not included in the Tokyo concert.[5]

Each of the three concerts featured the appearances of Eiji Aonuma and Koji Kondo on stage, with the latter performing a solo on piano. Shigeru Miyamoto was only present at the Tokyo concert,[6] while Zelda Williams made a special appearance in the London concert.[7]

The places where the concerts took place were fully decorated with Zelda-related images and banners. Skyward Sword hanged on the outside of the Pantages Theater, and the 25th Anniversary picture featuring all the Links from the series covered the building as well. Inside, the theater's lobby featured playable demos of Skyward Sword, Ocarina of Time 3D, and Four Swords Anniversary Edition. Moreover, hanging from the walls were golden drapes depicting the Royal Crest, while others illustrated characters and scenes from Skyward Sword.[8][9] A merchandise booth was also set up, where attendees could buy t-shirts containing the 25th anniversary logo for $20 each, while posters, with three of each kind, were selling for $10 each.[10] The outside of the hall where the Tokyo concert took place had pillars which were decorated with the official Zelda 25th Anniversary logo, as well as a history of all the Links up to Skyward Sword.

Aonuma at the Los Angeles concert

Tokyo

In Tokyo there were two concerts on October 10, one starting at 2:00 PM and the other one at 6:30 PM, local time.[11] The concerts were performed by the Tokyo Philharmonic Orchestra.[12]

Los Angeles

The Los Angeles concert was performed by the Orchestra Nova San Diego[13] on October 21, 2011 at the Pantages Theater[14] with ticket prices starting at $35 USD.[15]

London

The London concert was performed by the Royal Philharmonic Concert Orchestra[16] on October 25, 2011 at the Hammersmith Apollo, with ticket prices starting at £33.75.[17]

Program

The premier concerts included pieces that were not performed during the Symphony of the Godesses concerts, as the 25th anniversary symphony concerts were "intended to be unique, special, one-time commemorative events."[18] However, the Symphony of the Godesses did feature various pieces from the premier concerts, including the "The Wind Waker Symphonic Movement" and the "Twilight Princess Symphonic Movement".[19][20]

Reception

The reception to the 25th anniversary concerts was mostly positive; all four concerts were completely sold out, and it was highly praised by reviewers.[23][24][25] Steve Hogarty of the Official Nintendo Magazine stated about the London concert that it was "...one of the most moving and beautiful live performances I've ever had the good fortune to put my ears near."[26] Matt Allen from Nintendo Life believed "[it] was a night enjoyed by all and filled with affection for Zelda, its music and the talented developers, musicians and performers who have all shaped one of the most influential and well-regarded gaming series of our time." However, one minor criticism was when "individual instruments and sections played through all 19 ocarina melodies from Ocarina of Time and Majora's Mask: while memorable in-game, in this setting they felt more like filler."[27] Bob Mackley from 1up mentions that "while the 25th Anniversary Symphony isn't going to meet the needs of every Zelda fan, it's certainly a fitting celebration of all things Zelda."[28]

Most reviewers noted The Wind Waker Symphony Movement to be one of the highlights of the show,[29][30][31][32] as Nintendo World Report comments that "[the] entire orchestra was at its best during this song, with a smattering of solos sprinkled throughout, but the cello and bass sections in particular impressed with their rich accompaniment in the lower registry." The surprise performance of Koji Kondo was also highly acclaimed.[33][34][35][36][37] Although the music selection "was quite unexpected", Nintendo World Report states that "the crowd held onto Mr. Kondo's every note,"[38] with Hogarty also commenting that "Koji Kondo brought the entirety of the venue to the edge of its seat and the verge of having something-in-its-eye."[39]

As for the videos being projected behind the orchestra, Allen from the London concert comments that "the video perfectly captured its sense of adventure."[40] However, Andrea Campton from Nintendo Gal felt that, in the Los Angeles concert, "the screen and video felt implemented at the last minute and poorly planned" since "many times the video had issues with frame skipping" and that "other times it fell flat and stopped during the climax of a song."[41]

One of the minor criticisms about the atmosphere of the Los Angeles concert was the audience's reactions while the orchestra was performing. Mackley from 1up states that although the crowd's "enthusiasm is appreciated, [...] the medleys suffered the most from audience outbursts, as the crowd would erupt whenever they recognized the snippet of the song that just started... which was every single time,"[42] while Alex Plant from Zelda Informer commented that "this was the worst audience I have ever had the displeasure of being part of" since the attendees "were laughing out loud at the most inappropriate times".[43]

Gallery

Program

Decorations

See Also

The Legend of Zelda: Symphony of the Goddesses

References

  1. "The musical lineup was chosen by series composer Koji Kondo and his team from the series' back-catalog of familiar themes and motifs. The concert is being produced by Jason Michael Paul Productions, which has previously overseen concerts such as PLAY! A Video Game Symphony and two Final Fantasy orchestra events."Nintendo announces LA launch for Zelda symphony concerts; retrieved Feb 24. 2012, Games Radas.
  2. "The concert will feature orchestral songs hand-picked by Nintendo composer Koji Kondo and his team. A 70-piece orchestra will be joined by a choir to perform new arrangements of a variety of songs from the series' 25-year history. The concerts will be produced by Jason Michael Paul, Inc., the producers of PLAY! A Video Game Symphony, which has toured the world performing music from video games."Zelda anniversary concert London date confirmed; retrieved Feb. 24 2012, Official Nintendo Magazine.
  3. ""The Legend of Zelda 25th Anniversary Symphony is a full-on multimedia event," Moore told ONM. "A team of talented, Zelda-enthused editors have assembled a thoughtful, carefully considered video presentation that will accompany the music.""Zelda 25th anniversary concert to be a 'full-on multimedia event'; retrieved Feb 25. 2012, Official Nintendo Magazine.
  4. "There were obvious highlights: the medley of The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker tunes took in its intro theme, Outset Island, The Great Sea and more as in-game footage played on a giant screen behind the orchestra."Feature: Legend of Zelda 25th Anniversary Symphony Concert Report; retrieved Feb. 24 2012, Nintendo Life.
  5. "Mr. Aonuma expressed his desire to make people cry during the concert, and pointed out that—unlike during the Tokyo event—this concert's music would be accompanied by scenes taken from the Zelda games that were projected behind the orchestra."Zelda 25th Anniversary Symphony Review; retrieved Feb 25. 2012, Nintendo World Report.
  6. "Not only was the amazing orchestra group in the house, Shigeru Miyamoto, Eiji Aonuma, Koji Kondo, and Shoko Nakagawa - the Japanese idol who is crazy about Zelda - all made appearances at the event."The Legend of Zelda 25th Anniversary Symphony - Tokyo, Japan; retrieved Feb. 24 2012, Nintendo World Report.
  7. "Aonuma left the stage after introducing conductor Eímear Noone, who in turn introduced the second special guest of the evening: Zelda Williams."Feature: Legend of Zelda 25th Anniversary Symphony Concert Report; retrieved Feb. 24 2012, Nintendo Life.
  8. "What's more, as you see at right, all the Zelda banners displayed on the exterior to celebrate this year's biggest games - Ocarina of Time 3D, Four Swords 25th Anniversary Edition, of course Skyward Sword - just look and feel right there. The setup inside the venue was just as spiffy - more banners adorned the walls, most of them black-and-gold and bearing the Hylian crest, others showing off characters and scenes from Skyward Sword. A good few Skyward Sword demo stations were scattered about the floor, these showing off an upgraded version of the E3 demo featuring all the new place names, item names and descriptions, and script changes that the game's undergone in the past months."The Legend of Zelda 25th Anniversary Symphony: The ZI Review; retrieved Feb. 24 2012, Zelda Informer.
  9. "Zelda banners with various artwork decorated the iconic building, promoting Skyward Sword and the downloadable Four Swords Adventures DSiWare and 3DS eShop release. Inside, the golden theater's lobby was packed with Nintendo fans eager to purchase posters and T-shirts from the event or try out playable demos of Skyward Sword. The event planners even managed to hang golden drapes with Hyrule's royal crest, making the famous theater itself feel like something out of Wind Waker."Zelda 25th Anniversary Symphony Review; retrieved Feb. 24 2012, Nintendo World Report.
  10. "There was a merchandise booth setup, which drew the most attention. Two lines were setup, one for cash and the other for credit cards. There were two types of memorabilia for sale, posters and t-shirts. Two t-shirts black and white were available, priced at $20 each, with the Zelda 25th Anniversary logo on the front. After the concert, the black was entirely sold out. Then there were the three types of posters were available for $10 each, which all had colorful Zelda artwork."Zelda Symphony Concert Thoughts & Video; retrieved Feb. 24 2012, Nintendo Gal.
  11. "In Japan, there were two shows on October 10, one being held from 2:00 PM to roughly 4:00 PM, and the other (which I attended) being held from 6:30 PM to 8:30 PM."The Legend of Zelda 25th Anniversary Symphony - Tokyo, Japan; retrieved Feb 25. 2012, Nintendo World Report.
  12. "After registering the title online, gamers were given a chance to win an opportunity to go to this symphony concert performed by the Tokyo Philharmonic Orchestra."The Legend of Zelda 25th Anniversary Symphony - Tokyo, Japan; retrieved Feb 25. 2012, Nintendo World Report.
  13. "In October of this year, they were chosen by Nintendo to perform The Legend of Zelda 25th Anniversary Symphony in Los Angeles' Pantages Theatre."Orchestra Nova San Diego Continues to Garner National Attention; retrieved Feb 25. 2012, PRWeb.
  14. "Here in Hollywood, we're lucky to get a "sneak peek" as the second of three premiere concerts takes place right here, at the Pantages Theater, on October 21st, 2011."Legend of Zelda 25th Anniversary Symphony; retrieved Feb 24. 2012, Hollywood The Residences.
  15. "The first Legend of Zelda 25th Anniversary Symphony Concert will take place at the Pantages Theatre in Los Angeles with a full concert tour to follow in 2012. Tickets start at $35."Zelda 25th anniversary concert detailed; retrieved Feb 24. 2012, Official Nintendo Magazine.
  16. "The Royal Philharmonic Concert Orchestra and the 24-strong Capital Voices choir combined to present select tunes from a quarter-century of Link's adventures[...]"Feature: Legend of Zelda 25th Anniversary Symphony Concert Report; retrieved Feb. 24, Nintendo Life.
  17. "This will be the only Zelda concert in Europe and it will take place at the HMV Hammersmith Apollo. Ticket prices for the London concert start at £33.75 and will be available from 8 August 2011 from Ticketmaster."Zelda anniversary concert London date confirmed; retrieved Feb 25. 2012, Official Nintendo Magazine.
  18. "As far as content is concerned, in the words of Jeron Moore, "Very few pieces will be carried over, with the exception of two of the movements and a couple additional pieces which were meant as teasers for the 2012 tour. Outside of that, the 25th anniversary symphony concerts were intended to be unique, special, one-time commemorative events.""Zelda: Symphony of the Goddesses Dates and Details; retrieved Feb 25. 2012, Destructoid.
  19. "As we revealed last week, this month's Zelda concerts will feature two movements from a four part symphony that will be played during the Zelda 2012 world tour."Zelda 25th anniversary concert to be a 'full-on multimedia event'; retrieved Feb 25. 2012, Official Nintendo Magazine.
  20. "The premieres include music that will not be played on the world tour. A full, 4 movement symphony has been arranged for the world tour, and we're told only 2 of those movements will be performed in the premiere concerts."Legend of Zelda 25th Anniversary Symphony; retrieved Feb 25. 2012, Hollywood The Residences.
  21. "Also as the show headed towards its close, none other than Koji Kondo himself made a special appearance with a solo performance on piano before briefly addressing the audience with a few warmly received words."Feature: Legend of Zelda 25th Anniversary Symphony Concert Report; retrieved Feb. 24 2012, Nintendo Life.
  22. "The crowd was of course ecstatic with the production and gave the performers a standing ovation, demanding an encore. The conductor hardly put up a fight, thanking the crowd for being the best audience ever before introducing Koji Kondo to the stage. Mr. Kondo performed a beautiful piano rendition of the pensive "Grandma's Theme" from Wind Waker."Zelda 25th Anniversary Symphony Review; retrieved Feb. 24 2012, Nintendo World Report.
  23. "After two sell-out concerts it Tokyo and Los Angeles, Nintendo’s The Legend of Zelda 25th Anniversary Symphony arrived in London as the last and equally sold out concert at the HMV Hammersmith Apollo on October 25, 2011."The Legend Lives On; retrieved Feb. 24 2012, Arts and Collections International.
  24. "It was a perfect evening all around, from the festivities leading up to the show, the energetic atmosphere as fans mingled and shared their favorite Zelda memories with one another as lines snaked around the block, and on to the engaging and often emotional arrangements that had every member in the sold out crowd on their feet at the end of the show: it was a night to remember."The Stuff of Legends: Zelda’s 25th Anniversary Symphony Impressions; retrieved Feb. 24 2012, Original Sound Version.
  25. "After a successful first show at the Pantages theatre in Los Angeles, The Legend of Zelda 25th anniversary symphony took in London's Hammersmith Apollo with a sold-out show that celebrated the series' captivating music."Feature: Legend of Zelda 25th Anniversary Symphony Concert Report; retrieved Feb. 24 2012, Nintendo Life.
  26. Legend Of Zelda 25th Anniversary Symphony review; retrieved Feb. 24 2011
  27. Feature: Legend of Zelda 25th Anniversary Symphony Concert Report; retrieved Feb. 24 2012
  28. Legend of Zelda 25th Anniversary Symphony; retrieved Feb. 24 2012
  29. "Three Awesome Moments - The Wind Waker Symphonic Movement"The Legend of Zelda 25th Anniversary Symphony Experience; retrieved Feb. 24 2012, 1up.
  30. "My absolute top moment of the night was the Wind Waker Symphonic Movement, which guided us through many of the iconic scenes and songs.url=http://www.zeldainformer.com/2011/10/the-legend-of-zelda-25th-anniversary-symphony-the-zi-review.html" — [ The Legend of Zelda 25th Anniversary Symphony: The ZI Review; retrieved Feb. 24 2012], Zelda Informer.
  31. "There were obvious highlights: the medley of The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker tunes took in its intro theme, Outset Island, The Great Sea and more as in-game footage played on a giant screen behind the orchestra."Feature: Legend of Zelda 25th Anniversary Symphony Concert Report; retrieved Feb. 24, Nintendo Life.
  32. "My personal favourite Zelda tune, the theme from Outset Island, formed part of The Wind Waker Symphonic Movement early in the performance. A medley that guided us through the majestic Great Sea, as well as the comical pompity-pomp 'Setting Out' music that features when you first set foot aboard Tetra's ship."Legend Of Zelda 25th Anniversary Symphony review; retrieved Feb. 24 2012, Official Nintendo Magazine.
  33. "The night ended with a surprise solo performance of Grandma's Theme from Koji Kondo himself - really beautiful and touching and I'm happy to say it was positively pristine as well."The Legend of Zelda 25th Anniversary Symphony: The ZI Review; retrieved Feb. 24 2012, Zelda Informer.
  34. "After the final song wrapped up, Noone went off-stage and came back with none other than Koji Kondo, who sat at the piano and played the Grandma's theme from Wind Waker (the piece brought tears to my eyes it was so [...] beautiful)."Zelda 25th Anniversary Concert Review; retrieved Feb. 24 2012, .
  35. "The best part of the night however came at its conclusion, when a surprise appearance from Nintendo composer Koji Kondo saw the London venue rise to its feet in applause. Kondo rounded off the evening's spectrum of rousing Zelda tunes - mostly focussed on the newer games - with a moving rendition of Granma's Theme from Legend of Zelda: Wind Waker."Magical Zelda 25th Anniversary concert enchants London; retrieved Feb. 24 2012, Computer and Video Games.
  36. "As we came near the end, Koji Kondo came out on stage. Mr. Kondo played perhaps the best musical piece of the evening on piano, Grandma’s Theme from Wind Waker. The way his fingers methodically moved from key to key with purpose and ease was memorizing. When I closed my eyes, I only felt the feeling of the melody and it filled the theater. He is extremely passionate about music and it was apparent in his performance."Zelda Symphony Concert Thoughts & Video; retrieved Feb. 24 2012, Nintendo Gal.
  37. "When he sat down at a piano for his solo performance that night, though, the melody flowing from those keys certainly wasn't what anyone was expecting: Grandma's Theme from The Wind Waker. Instead of playing the sole tune that defines the Zelda series, Kondo chose to perform a lesser-known piece that isn't immediately recognizable, even to fans; this interesting decision led to one of the most interesting moments of the night, as the exuberant crowd shifted their bubbly enthusiasm to a quiet awe in order to make the most of Kondo's subdued ivory-tickling."The Legend of Zelda 25th Anniversary Symphony Experience; retrieved Feb. 24, 1up.
  38. [http://www.nintendoworldreport.com/feature/28184 Zelda 25th Anniversary Symphony Review; retrieved Feb. 24 2012}}
  39. [http://www.officialnintendomagazine.co.uk/31956/legend-of-zelda-25th-anniversary-symphony-concert-review/ Legend Of Zelda 25th Anniversary Symphony review; retrieved Feb. 24 2012}}
  40. Legend of Zelda 25th Anniversary Symphony Concert Report; retrieved Feb. 24 2011
  41. "The video selections at times were decent with the music on time to what was happening. Other times it fell flat and stopped during the climax of a song. It wasn’t all positive from a playback perspective either. Many times the video had issues with frame skipping. Another time, they mistakenly put the orchestra over the game footage instead of fading it away. The selection of game footage to use seemed random. Games such as Spirit Tracks didn’t benefit on the huge screen while A Link to the Past actually did. Overall the screen and video felt implemented at the last minute and poorly planned. In future concerts, I hope they vastly improve what is shown or do away with it completely and let the music speak for itself."Zelda Symphony Concert Thoughts & Video; retrieved Feb. 24 2012, Nintendo Gal.
  42. The Legend of Zelda 25th Anniversary Symphony Experience; retrieved Feb. 24 2012
  43. The Legend of Zelda 25th Anniversary Symphony: The ZI Review; retrieved Feb. 24 2012