ARIA The ORIGINATION Piano Collection II DIPARTENZA – Review

Album Title: ARIA The ORIGINATION Piano Collection II DIPARTENZA
Anime Title: ARIA The ORIGINATION
Artist: Takeshi Senoo, Mina Kubota, SONOROUS
Catalog Number: VTCL-60023
Release Type: Arrangement
Release Date: March 12, 2008
Purchase at: CDJapan, Play-Asia


Tracklist

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Track Title Artist Time
1. Shiki -Soshite Boku ha Umi ni Kaeru- Takeshi Senoo 2:43
2. Spirale Mina Kubota 2:46
3. Itsuka Kita Michi Takeshi Senoo 2:57
4. Eien no Umi -A Song for Zephyr- Takeshi Senoo 3:18
5. Waltz for ARIA Takeshi Senoo 2:13
6. Nanairo no Sora wo SONOROUS 2:21
7. Mirai he no Kouseki Takeshi Senoo 3:47
8. Amaretto no Natsu Takeshi Senoo 2:01
9. Kin no Nami Sen no Nami Mina Kubota 2:49
10. Bourou Takeshi Senoo 2:55
11. Tenkiame Takeshi Senoo 3:27
12. Ashita, Yuugure made Takeshi Senoo 4:55

Review: No matter how much one may wish to preserve the comforts of the present, the passage of time has other ideas. There’s always this constant push towards new horizons. For some, change comes swiftly like the tempest that turns one’s world upside-down, but for ARIA’s characters, it’s more as though a zephyr was passing through, bringing with it the hope of a brighter future. There may be some tentativeness and timidity when it comes to internalizing this change, but the warm breeze reassures them that all is well, all will be well, as it invites them in with open arms.

With that image in mind, DIPARTENZA opens up with a tranquil air in “Shiki ~Soshite Boku wa Umi ni Kaeru~.” Its softness captures the image of the early dawn where nary a creature is stirring, allowing you to take in the quietude and look upon the still waters that lay mostly undisturbed aside from the occasional ripples from a falling dewdrop, depicted wonderfully through the piano’s grace notes that trickle gently down. This arrangement, moreso than the original, is effective not only in the way it pauses time, but also in the way it grows more confident as the piece progresses, calling in the dawn and with it, a future with endless possibilities!

Shiki ~Soshite Boku wa Umi ni Kaeru~

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But that brightness can be a little intimidating since the next step involves the characters making their first foray outside their comfort zone as they proceed to put their training to become skilled, professional gondoliers in their own right. The hesitation amidst the backdrop of the changes in the characters’ lives lie at the core of the emotions that DIPARTENZA imparts unto us through tracks like “Eien no Umi -A Song for Zephyr-“ and “Mirai he no Kouseki.” These piano arrangements occupy that fence-sitting position where the characters look upon the road ahead with some trepidation and aren’t quite ready to take that first step. That reluctance is conveyed particularly well in “Eien no Umi -A Song for Zephyr-,“ which hits the melancholy notes more profoundly than the original does. The piano channels a sense of solitude and in doing so, evokes all manners of doubts and uncertainties, but like “Shiki,” it ends with a comforting melody that prods them onward.

Eien no Umi -A Song for Zephyr-

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Mirai he no Kouseki

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Amidst the overwhelming joy and wonder mixed in with the occasional dose of melancholia that this album brings to the fore, there’s one thing that makes the listening experience fall slightly short of its full potential: some of the pieces drift too close to the original. In most cases, the feelings that the original track emanate are enhanced in this album, but the piano versions of Origination’s OP, “Spirale” and “Kin no Nami Sen no Nami” are transcriptions. That is, they proceed to match the songs in perfect step rather than add panache so as to stand out on their own merits, and so, hold back on the true depths of their expressiveness.

Kin no Nami Sen no Nami

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This is a minor flaw, one that’s easy to overlook due to the sheer quality of the source tracks and the piano’s capability in accentuating the mood of each piece. Starting with “Shiki’s” wellspring of quiet contentment and hope and ending with “Ashita, Yuugure made’s” exquisite warmth that reaches out and embraces all, DIPARTENZA is a perfect reflection of what Origination signifies to the ARIA franchise: the culmination of the lessons learned and the enduring bonds of friendship forged that give the characters the strength to step outside that protective bubble and come into their own.

Ashita, Yuugure made

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Rating: Very Good

zzeroparticle

Anime Instrumentality's Founder and Editor-in-Chief. As you can probably guess, I'm a big anime music junkie with a special love for composers who've put out some beautiful melodies to accompany some of my favorite anime series. I tend to gravitate towards music in the classical style with Joe Hisaishi and Yoko Kanno being a few of my favorite composers, but I've come to appreciate jazz and rock as anime music has widened my tastes.

11 thoughts on “ARIA The ORIGINATION Piano Collection II DIPARTENZA – Review

  • October 11, 2010 at 1:38 am
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    The lovely imagery in the beginning reminds me of how amazing Aria is.

    Shiki ~Soshite Boku wa Umi ni Kaeru~, Mirai he no Kouseki, and all the other piano tracks are beautiful. The soundtrack is a perfect match for the series.

    Great review!

    Reply
  • October 11, 2010 at 5:34 am
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    :drool:
    This sounds like a great CD. Even the cover is evocative of that dream-like state that watching Aria produces. I went to Venice once in the Winter (at Carnevale) and San Marco’s Piazza was flooded, just like in the picture.

    Reply
  • October 11, 2010 at 2:44 pm
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    Haha, I love the quality/bit rate/ of each track, it gives them a Vinyl feeling. :)

    The soundtrack samples, and one or two tracks I heard on youtube, are pretty lulling and nice to listen to on a quite evening. A lot of high register stuff on the piano makes good for that. While that trait of the pieces is great for tranquil music, it leaves what I’ve heard to be quite fluffy and almost boring. Are there any tracks on the album that exceed the speed of adante?

    Reply
  • October 11, 2010 at 7:19 pm
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    I love the piano. Never too sharp, never too deep, and capable of almost anything when you play it right. I could go on singing praises if I wanted to. ‘Tis why I consider myself a pianist more than a cellist. xD

    Random comment, I find Erino Hazuki’s voice to be quite soothing to listen to when she sings so I love the original “Ashita, Yuugure made”. The piano version is quite beautiful as well.

    Actually, I’m usually not fond of instrumental arrangements of vocal songs. In most cases they don’t have the same energy or emotion that the vocalist’s voice imparted the original version with.

    Reply
  • October 12, 2010 at 8:54 am
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    @Yi
    They sure are! A lot of the piano pieces just bring out that feeling of gladness and optimism and it’s really hard to turn away from it altogether.

    Any progress on finishing up NATURAL and ORIGINATION? :3

    @Joojoobees
    The colors used in the album cover are a perfect fit in capturing that watery dreamscape that we’ve come to know and love, aren’t they? That there’s a piano, seemingly idle and alone captures the way a lot of the tracks come out in this album too, making it a perfect fit!

    @Rhythmroo
    Yay for transcoding since all the samples are at 96kbps. I should probably re-rip or something to take care of those issues since I noticed them as well when I previewed this post.

    As for a tempo faster than Andante, I don’t think so. The liveliest piece that you’re going to get out of this set is Waltz for Aria and even that is more graceful than anything more energetic.

    @Yu
    Total piano fan on my end as well because of its sheer versatility in terms of style and different musical genres.

    Also, I do agree that the instrumental arrangements do come off as not being as great, but there is one exception here. I daresay “Nanairo no Sora wo” came off really well because the piano gives it that hopeful, optimistic feeling perfectly that the original conveyed.

    Reply
  • October 14, 2010 at 12:27 pm
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    Waiting for the perfect day to marathon both Natural and Origination.

    Reply
  • October 14, 2010 at 10:33 pm
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    Man, like almost every anime piano collection sounds good. It must be the piano factor.

    Reply
  • October 16, 2010 at 2:03 am
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    where could I download this one?

    Reply
  • October 16, 2010 at 11:39 am
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    @Yi
    There’s never a bad day to do that kind of marathoning :3

    @Reltair
    You really can’t go wrong with piano. Well, you can, but it’s really hard to. Do wish there were more piano arrangement albums though since those do seem pretty darn rare.

    @~xxx
    Sorry, we don’t do downloads help here!

    Reply
  • November 12, 2010 at 9:41 am
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    Very nice music, beautiful, dreamlike and relaxing. Anyone who enjoys piano music will enjoy this, whether anime fan or not. Good stuff.

    Reply
  • November 13, 2010 at 5:32 pm
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    @Leslie
    Glad you approve! Anime piano albums are pretty rare, but this is definitely one of the better ones. A definite recommendation, even for those who don’t have quite the context!

    Reply

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