In my experience not all anime soundtracks work on both levels. Many do, but Fruits Basket and RahXephon are classic examples of soundtracks that really only work in context.
The Record of Lodoss War soundtrack passes both tests.
In fact I just sat and listened to it on its own again, and I usually have it playing on itunes when writing up the twenty days posts.
I only have the first volume of the soundtrack which appropriately opens with the orchestral Prologue to the Legend.
It always strikes me as somewhat odd that the next track is a full length version of the ending credits Fantasia of the Wind. This is then followed by an instrumental version of the opening Adesso e Fortuna (Flame & Enternity).
This is matched by wrapping up the CD with the full length vocal for Adesso e Fortuna followed by an instrumental version of Fantasia of the Wind
This works well enough at any time but it is less jarring when you haven't seen the series in a while. Overall I quite like the approach. sherry's (NB: not a typo, that's how her name is on the CD jacket) vocals on both are just fabuous, and the instrumentals give you a chance to appreciate the arrangements that support the vocals.
The bulk of the remaining tracks are leitmotifs for the major characters, and this is a nice touch whilst watching the series. The appearance of Karla's Theme, or the Fire Dragon theme is generally not a good sign.
Overall the style of the soundtrack is classical and is superbly performed by the Kaze no Orchestra. I think the name translates literally, and slightly misleadlingly, as "Orchestra of the Wind". There is a somewhat heavier usage of the wind instruments in the soundtrack than normal, but the strings still get a heavy workout.
Looking back I think that this is one of the soundtracks, along with the Silent Möbius soundtracks, and the AnimeCon 1991 opening that triggered my now ongoing interest in classical music.
That alone is a sign of the strength of the Lodoss War soundtrack: it helped to expand my taste in music.
I think I'll leave it at that, and return to the episodes from tomorrow.
Day 1 - Prologue to the Legend
Day 2 - Blazing Departure
Day 3 - The Gender of Lodoss War
Day 4 - The Black Knight
Day 5 - The Grey Witch
Day 6 - Dub vs Sub?
Day 7 - The Desert King
Day 8 - The Sword of the Dark Emperor
Day 9 - The War of Heroes
Day 10 - Requiem for Warriors
Day 11 - Nice job breaking it hero
Day 12 - The Look of Lodoss
Day 13 - The Scepter of Domination
Day 14 - The Demon Dragon of Fire Dragon Mountain
Day 15 - The Sound of Lodoss
Day 16 - The Wizard's Ambition
Day 17 - Final Battle! Marmo, the Dark Island
Day 18 -
Day 19 - Lodoss, The Burning Continent
Day 20 -