Japanese composer, Nobuo Uematsu, largely defined the video game music industry with his nostalgic melodies and ability to tell a story through instrumentation. His Final Fantasy VI soundtrack is one of my favorite game albums. His music complimented the story of the game and its characters, and it had great respect for classical form.
The da capo aria was popularized in the baroque era (1600-1750), but found its way into an SNES game console in 1994. Several years later the music of Final Fantasy would be performed by the Royal Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra in Sweden. The Distant Worlds concert includes a medley performance of Final Fantasy VI's opera Maria and Draco along with other popular tracks from the Final Fantasy series.
The opera includes an aria sung by Maria as she confesses to her lover. What's an opera without a dramatic confession of love? It was written in A-B-A or ternary form. The performer was expected to repeat the first phrase after the second while improvising on the original melody. Da capo literally means "from the head" in Italian. This direction was often given in place of the composer writing out the third phrase of a ternary composition. The second section changes key and contrasts in tone, mood and texture from the first. The "B" phrase of Maria's aria is instrumental, but darkens in mood. The vocals are brought back when the third phrase begins back in the tonic key. The verses are strophic, in that each verse is sung to the same melody each time.
Even though this opera existed only as a handful of scenes within a larger game, the careful construction is felt in the musical composition and even in the phrasing and rhythm of the lyrics. The lyrics of the da capo aria were generally poems with three to six line phrases each ending in an emphasized syllable (masculine ending). Maria's aria keeps even the integrity of the lyrical form. I fell in love with this piece because it's loved and respected by the people who created it and you can feel it in every beat, note and syllable.
O my hero, my beloved,
Shall we still be made to part,
The promises of perennial love
Yet sing here in my heart...
I'm the darkness, you're the starlight
Shining brightly from afar.
Through hours of despair, I offer this prayer
To you, my evening star.
Must my final vows exchanged
Be with him and not with you?
Were you only here to quiet my fear...
O speak! Guide me anew.
I am thankful, my beloved,
For your tenderness and grace.
I see in your eyes, so gentle and wise,
All doubts and fears erased!
Though the hours take no notice
Of what fate might have in store,
Our love, come what may, will never age a day.
I'll wait forevermore!
Amore mio, caro bene
Perchè vai lontano da me?
Giurasti un amore, che mai non doveva
Avere fine per noi
Nei momenti di tristezza
Nei momenti di dolore
A te, mia stella, penso
Con infinito ardore
Un legame senza speme
Perchè mai dovrei avere?
Che cosa tu vuoi ch'io faccia oramai
Mi devi dire tu
Ti ringrazio, caro bene
Amore mio, vita mia
Al grave doler, al buio timore
Che il cuore mi turbò
Dolcemente, con amore
Hai risposto al mio gridare
Per sempre ognor, per sempre ognor
Qui a me, t'attenderò
The armies of the East are battling the forces of the west. The hero of the western army is Draco, who is in love with the western princess, Maria. When the west loses the war and Draco is presumed lost, Maria is forced to marry the eastern Prince, Ralse.
During a ball, the survivors of the west, led by Draco, launch a surprise attack. A duel ensues between Draco and Ralse, in which the latter is defeated and Maria and Draco go on to live happily ever after.
Aria di Mezzo Carattere
A vocal arrangement of my own. Not of high quality, but I enjoyed working on it nonetheless.
OCRemix: The Impressario [Medley]
An amazing medley of the music from Maria and Draco with a crushingly heavy Bohemian Rhapsody influence.