|ARIA The ORIGINATION Piano Collection II DIPARTENZA
|ARIA The ORIGINATION
|Takeshi Senoo, Mina Kubota, SONOROUS
|March 12, 2008
|1. Shiki -Soshite Boku ha Umi ni Kaeru-
|3. Itsuka Kita Michi
|4. Eien no Umi -A Song for Zephyr-
|5. Waltz for ARIA
|6. Nanairo no Sora wo
|7. Mirai he no Kouseki
|8. Amaretto no Natsu
|9. Kin no Nami Sen no Nami
|12. Ashita, Yuugure made
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~
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-[audio:04 ariapiano2.mp3]
Mirai he no Kouseki
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
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
Rating: Very Good