Wow, what more can I say? As an avid John Williams fan I am once again 'spellbound' by the maestro's ability to characterise to perfection. I reckon this album is better than the first and just as the book is darker than the Philosopher's Stone, so too is the music. Totally remeniscant of the incidental music to all the 'William's greats' such as E.T, Indiana Jones, Hook, Star Wars (Tuba solo in 'Cakes for Crabbe & Goyle - gormless or what?). With an album like this you only have to read the track listing on the back (which at 20 tracks is great value for money), and you know what the music is going to sound like and your always right! - dark, magical, playful, textured and exciting - GET THOSE HORNS!!
What was a real surprise was the compilation of new themes on the album. When watching the film it is not surprising that many of the characters are represented by themes designed in the first film so naturally one expects this album to be much the same as the first but no! New treatment of old ideas like Voldemort's 3-note motif is much heavier and colourfully scored as Tom Riddle on this album.New characters get new tunes such as the delightfully pathetic Gilderoy Lockheart.
My favourite bit is the final sequence 'Reunion of friends'which appears in both movies (extended in this picture as Hagrid returns as hero) - Brilliantly emotive scoring and fabulous playing from trumpeters Rod Franks and Maurice Murphy (remember that top Bb at the start of Star Wars?) - Mr Williams the genius!!
If you only buy one orchestral recording this year make sure you buy this one!!!