Friday, November 23, 2012

Analysis: Haydn's Creation in Final Fantasy 7

Recently, I beat FFVII and was pleasantly surprised to see Haydn's Creation in the credits.  As I played the game, I made a note about the scene with the destruction of the Sector VII Slums.  There's a history in film music of using classical music to help paint a villain as evil, intellectual, and aloof.  It's supposed to make them seem more removed from the common man.  Think Hannibal Lector listening to Bach's Goldberg Variations.  (Warning: Video clip is gory.)

This is precisely the effect of this scene, where the Shinra President watches the destruction of the Sector 7 slums.  Here, he's listening to the end of a movement from the 3rd part of Haydn's Creation, "Of Stars the Fairest."  You can see it in this performance from about 7:08-7:23.  The singers from the game soundtrack are singing in German and the lyric is: "Ertönen sollt ihr früh und spät von unserm Lobgesang."  We might say, "Singing our eternal praises to you."  This is the longest movement in the Creation, a three part structure, and this is a moment from the end of the second part.  In this tiny snippet, Adam and Eve describe the angel chorus singing their praises to God. 


I especially like how the audio adjusts as the camera shifts from inside the room with him to the outside shot.  Great audio detail and fantastic use of classical music in a video game.  What's your favorite use of classical music in a game? 

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