Top positive review
6 people found this helpful
on 3 January 2008
I'll be honest with you: I still believe that it would have been very interesting, compositionally, to hear what John Williams would have done had he had the opportunity to score all of the Harry Potter films. The fact remains that Patrick Doyle's score for The Goblet of Fire and Nicholas Hooper's work on The Order of the Phoenix are both excellent in their own right.
The theme used in "Professor Umbridge" reflects her character's fluffy and pompous nature, but it always hints at something being not quite right, which is clearly the case with Umbridge herself. "Another Story" begins with the obligatory snatch of Williams' `Hedwig's Theme' played over the title of the film, before it's replaced by a broken piano solo which mimics Harry's confused and isolated position at the start of the movie.
Both "Dumbledore's Army" and "The Room of Requirement" play over montage sequences showing the Hogwarts students' progress as they learn to defend themselves against the dangers that they are to come, and constitute the most buoyant and chipper themes in the score, although the latter has its dark moments. The conflict within Harry's soul is showcased in "Possession" as the low, sad strings of despair compete for dominance with the stronger theme of Harry's happier memories that eventually overrides it.
A tender new theme that plays over the conversations that Harry and Sirius share is included in "A Journey to Hogwarts", which ends with a jumpy tune as Harry and friends discover that Hagrid has returned. "The Sirius Deception" and "The Flight of the Order of the Phoenix" are stand out tracks for me purely because they represent the two scenes in the film involving flying, and regardless of how many times I've heard it, the music still makes my hair stand on end!
"Death of Sirius" features the music that accompanies the battle in the climax of the film, and whereas Patrick Doyle opted for excesses of brass in action scenes, Hooper prefers to go for up-and-down strings and carefully used percussion. Chorus sounds as Harry and his friends first rally together to face the Death-eaters, and also when the Order of the Phoenix arrive to save the day.
The only thing missing on this CD is Luna Lovegood's theme: there is a hint of it in "Loved Ones and Leaving", but not nearly enough. And perhaps a `Credits' track to make it a 60-minute CD, but overall I was pleasantly surprised by this soundtrack and now agree that inviting different composers to score the various films encourages a greater variety of sounds and a more dynamic mix of music.
*This review was previously a lot longer. When I realised that it was too long (and that another reviewer had imitated my style, which I in turn had imitated from Doug Adams of 'The Music of the Lord of the Rings Films'-fame) I changed it, making it shorter and more to the point.