The Legend of Zelda is just that: legendary. Since the original game came out for the Nintendo Entertainment System in 1987, the series has grown by leaps and bounds. Sequels have been released for nearly every system Nintendo has launched and millions of copies have been sold. More importantly, millions of lives have been changed as a result of this iconic franchise. Nintendo is well aware of the love fans have for the series, and to celebrate its 25th anniversary, a full symphony orchestra is traveling the world to bring the music to the fans; it’s called The Legend of Zelda – Symphony of the Goddesses.
A fan playing her ocarina for onlookers prior to the show.
This four movement symphony, a first for a video game-themed concert, just took place in Philadelphia, at the Mann Center for the Performing Arts, and I was in attendance. It was a fantastic performance, conducted by Eímear Noone, that vividly brought to life the memorable music created by Nintendo composer and sound director Koji Kondo. The music was performed beautifully by the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra and also featured the Philadelphia Singers Chorale.
Similar to Video Games Live, which I’ve also seen and highly recommend, the music was accompanied by dazzling video packages. This cinematic video presentation synced gameplay from various games in the franchise to the live music. For example, if a song from the end of a particular Zelda game was being played by the orchestra, then footage of that scene also appeared on the large screen above the stage. It made for a nostalgic experience that pleased the senses.
While there was an intermission, the concert clocked in at nearly three hours and it featured three encores. Needless to say, it was an excellent performance, and I’m very glad I attended. As of right now, additional performances are scheduled through the end of the year. If one is in your area, I highly recommend you check it out. You won’t be disappointed.