The Average Gamer

The Legend Of Zelda 25th Anniversary Symphony Concert

Zelda25thAnniversay_LogoI was invited along to the Zelda 25th Anniversary Symphony concert at the HMV Apollo last week. The London concert was to be the second and final performance of the short world tour. The excitement surrounding this concert was apparent the moment I arrived at Hammersmith with thousands upon thousands of fans, many dressed up as characters from the games waiting patiently outside the venue. I spotted quite a few Links, Princess Zeldas and even the Twinrova witches – Koume & Kotake.

Once I’d entered the venue my eyes lit up as I’d stumbled into a Legend of Zelda museum. There were banners, posters, consoles, games, t-shirts and art covering the rich history of the games. The first floor was home to a wall of glowing green see-through cubes each containing a Nintendo console and a game. Above each cube was a piece of artwork showing the characters and events from the game. NES, SNES, N64, Gamecube and the Wii were all proudly showing off each iconic chapter in the adventures of Link. Once the doors of the venue were opened the Wiis that were running Link’s latest adventure Skyward Sword were swamped by fans.

As I went to take my seat in the auditorium I was handed a beautiful concert program. I’ve scanned the majority of it for you including the song list.

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The program provided insights into each of the songs/medleys. Reading it made me realise just how many iconic songs the Legend of Zelda series has produced.

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The evening featured a number of special guests. Eiji Aonuma, producer and director of the Zelda games since Ocarina of Time was the first surprise of the night. With the help of a translator he welcomed us to the concert and hoped we would have fun evening. The second surprise was Zelda Williams. The daughter of über Zelda fan Robin Williams was going to be our compare for the evening. She was clearly nervous addressing such a large audience but as the concert continued she relaxed and gave us an insight into what the games mean to her. Unsurprisingly, given her name, she’s a massive fan and plays them to escape from the stresses of life. A bit like the rest of us then.

As you can see from the scans of the program, the song list was brilliant. Almost every Zelda game was featured. The orchestra were just flawless in giving new life to music that was so familiar to the fans in the audience. The giant screen behind the orchestra showed gameplay, images and animations from the Zelda games to accompany the music. Seeing memorable moments from each of the games with the orchestra in full swing was an amazing experience. My favourite songs from the show were the Wind Waker symphonic movement and Hyrule Field theme from Ocarina of Time. I don’t think I’ll never get tired of hearing these pieces of music.

The biggest surprise of the night was saved until late in the evening when Koji Kondo, legendary Nintendo music composer appeared on stage to play Grandma’s theme from Wind Waker on the piano. As you can imagine the whole auditorium went nuts when he first stepped on-stage to thank us for supporting the Zelda games over the years. I think for many people this was the most memorable moment of the whole concert. Kudos to Nintendo for organising it.

Towards the end of the concert Aonuma reappeared to announce that a Zelda 25th anniversary symphony CD will be included with copies of The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword. So look out for later on this month when the game is released for the Wii.

A beautiful rendition of the title music to Skyward Sword wrapped up the concert. After hearing the entire song for the first time, I’ve no doubt it will be soon sitting alongside the classic tunes from Ocarina of Time as some of the best music from the Zelda games. After this fitting climax to a wonderful concert I left the auditorium clutching my concert program with decades of iconic Zelda tunes happily ensconced in my head.

The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword will be released on the 18th Nov 2011 on the Wii.