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Saturday, February 25, 2012

Song of the Week! 25 February 2012

Here's the 2nd classic song of the year! Another PSP debut song, like many other songs in the genre.

Ruslan and Lyudmila Overture (「ルスランとリュドミラ」序曲) Glinka
Taiko 14, Taiko PSP 2x3 (154)x5 (251) x7 (488)x9 (659)
Taiko 0 onwardsx3 (154)x5 (251) x7 (488)x8 (659)
Taiko 14, 0, Taiko PSP 2, Taiko Wii U 2

Several Classic songs in Taiko's library stem from Russian folk music. Aside from the remixes and medleys (Russian Folk Medley, Hakuchou no Mizuumi ~still a duckling~), many of the first Russian classic songs are brought to Taiko untouched. This is one of them, introduced to PSP2 together with many other classic songs that remained exclusive to it for years, until its eventual inclusion in the modern arcades as a new song.

Ruslan and Lyudmilla - composed between 1837 and 1842 -  is the second opera of  Mikhail Ivanovich Glinka (1804-1857), the first Russian composer to gain wide recognition within his own country. The story takes place in a Medieval kingdom around the 9th century; during a royal wedding ceremony, the princess Lyudmilla is kidnapped by an evil wizard, and his groom Ruslan has to face a succession of trials in order to save his bride. The opera is based on the 1820 poem of the same name by Alexander Pushkin.

Ruslan's musical accompaniment is a great piece of Russian folk music, featuring an imaginative use of sound effects, whole tone scales and Eastern elements. The simultaneous playing of multiple musical instruments - especially in the early acts - evoke traditonal Russian instruments, like a gusli's traditional timbre.

Ruslan and Lyudmilla's rollicking overture is one of the best known orchestral showpieces in the West. The BPM is tolerable and the changes are subtle in the notechart, and quiet parts alternate with long, enjoyable 2-by-2 streams, making for an interesting 9* to play. Like most other songs, it got a star decrease on the way to Taiko 0.

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