Edward Ju (gundam@loop.com)
Mon, 31 Jan 2000 00:40:50 -0800

>I just wanted to ask, is there anyone here who has this disc? If so
>I'd appreciate an track listing and running time for the CD. BTW,
>please tell me your opinions of the tracks themselves, is this disc
>worth getting?
> Thanks very much.
>Sean Robert Abbey

There are quite a few Symphonic Poem CDs from Gundam, if that is the
exact title, then it is the Symphonic Poem based on the original TV
series. This was recorded way back in 1980 and features 10 tracks
(all titled in Japanese). The music is very somber. Considering the
source material, they did a very good job at interpreting the music
without mimicking what was achieved using cheesy synth sounds.
Orchestration is somewhat basic, with brass filling in most of the duties
(but strings are on hand as well, with some occassional percussion parts).

The first 2 minutes of the CD is almost silent until about 2:30 into
the first track. The material is a mix of the themes from the TV series
and some original material that birdges them together. They worked well
together and when the familiar themes are recited, they were for the most
part respectfully played without attempts of improvisation or revision
(other than slowed down tempo for a more grandiose feeling, which IMHO was
earned at the cost of losing a lot of dramatic feel in the performance).
I believe this first track appears elsewhere, IIRC the 20th Anniversary
orchestra concert 2-CD + video set.

Total running time of this disc is 49:02. Compared with today's anime music,
it is rather dated - it still has a very 70s, and very Japanese feel to it.
If you've watched the original series as a kid, then this disc might be
worth getting for nostalgic values. If you are used to the kind of music
from the OVAs or recent series, then this will be a very different kind of
music that may not suit your taste.

There is another Symphonic Poem CD based on the themes from F-91. I
wholeheartly recommend it. The music sounds very Western. If you liked
John William's music for Star Wars, then you will definitely like it,
because both scores were composed with the Wagnerian approach in mind.
The playing is also very intense, as opposed to the original SP's more
sedated recital.

Zeta Gundam also has a symphonic concert CD, although I don't think the
album used the name "Symphonic Poem". While I personally dig it as well,
stylistically it lies somewhere between the original Symphonic Poem and
F-91 SP. It has a slightly more jazz feel to it, while F-91 was 100%

Finally, there's "Thousand Nests", a symphonic suite of themes from V Gundam.
Beware! Do NOT buy the Ever Anime version of it. What you'd end up getting
is the F-91 Special Live Concert recording instead.


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