YouTube Performer of the Day: Crescendo playing “To Zanarkand” on Handbells!

Well, well, well…these guys came out of nowhere. Crescendo is apparently an ongoing show featuring international music artists, as the intro so boldly states. I’m just glad that they recognize good video game music! “To Zanarkand”, Final Fantasy X’s main theme, is argubly one of Nobuo Uematsu’s most addicting tracks. We hear variations of it in classic leitmotif fashion throughout the game, but nothing beats the original version on piano. Surprisingly, the instrument of choice in this live rearrangement is not a piano, but handbells. The organ plays in the background, yet handbells make up the bulk of the main melody. A rather weird choice for soling because each time a handbell or a triangle is present, it’s usually part of a full orchestra…to my experience, at least. So I must say, playing the main melody, note-for-note, with handbells no less…is an amazing feat! It’s almost a perfect rendition, so props to the two handbell players–or are they called ringers?–which are in-sync with each other and the melody throughout the whole video. Imagine having to memorize the sound of each handbell, time your lifts perfectly, and work with each other to deliver note-for-note melodies and harmonies. One of the few moments in musical instruments that’s not easier said than done. It truly looks as hard as it sounds.

I really hope that these guys do more of these. There’s a whole selection of game music tracks I’d love to hear on handbells right now. I never appreciated the instrument until I’ve watched this video, and I’m sure that you’ll feel the same way as your jaw drops in awe.

Props to OC ReMix for the shoutout!

2 thoughts on “YouTube Performer of the Day: Crescendo playing “To Zanarkand” on Handbells!”

  1. I’m a huge Final Fantasy fan!

    To Zanarkand is my second favorite song right after FF7’s Prelude. I gotta say I found this pretty amazing!

    1. Yeah…To Zanarkand is such a strong opening track to FFX just as the intro of Bombing Mission is to FFVII. Really grips you to the story from the beginning. I can see why you’ve grown fond of it. :)

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