Nobuo Uematsu: the video game composer shaking up classical music

One of the more than 100 tracks in the Classic FM citation was Aerith’s Theme. Aerith, AKA Aerith Gainsborough, features in Final Fantasy VII, and her music, scored for solo piano, has a tenderness and flowing grace that befits, I guess, a character who is “the last of the ancient race of the Cetra”. Her restless wandering is conveyed by the music’s undulating harmony, while her magical powers are hinted at by the mysterious major/minor modulations. Beethoven it is not, and pianistically it’s closer to Elton John than to any of the classical “greats”, although there are Grieg-like moments in the melody and something of Satie in the harmonisations.

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