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24 of 26 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A dark and fitting end to the Harry Potter films - one of Desplat's best scores to date
I should begin by saying my expectations were not that high for DHP2 based on Desplat's efforts for DHP1. Whilst it worked well within the film, I felt the score was somewhat lacking on CD. I was therefore pleasantly surprised at the vast improvement of DHP2.

The main new theme which opens the album is Lily's Theme, which contains some haunting female vocals...
Published on 13 July 2011 by L. Hubbard

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Ticks most of the boxes
The last two Harry Potters were a lot different to the previous films, and hence the soundtrack is invariably different. There is nothing bad about this soundtrack, it sets the tone of the film well and is technically brilliant by Alexandre Desplat, however apart from the first track there isn't anything that really gets me excited. There isn't much connection to any...
Published on 8 Feb 2012 by jesseharvey


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24 of 26 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A dark and fitting end to the Harry Potter films - one of Desplat's best scores to date, 13 July 2011
By 
L. Hubbard (Cardiff) - See all my reviews
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I should begin by saying my expectations were not that high for DHP2 based on Desplat's efforts for DHP1. Whilst it worked well within the film, I felt the score was somewhat lacking on CD. I was therefore pleasantly surprised at the vast improvement of DHP2.

The main new theme which opens the album is Lily's Theme, which contains some haunting female vocals and sounds absolutely wonderful. This theme is reprised several times. One of the criticisms of DHP1 was that Desplat is not the best writer of action music - a point which I agree with based on his previous work for The Golden Compass, which I just didn't feel was effective. That said, in DHP2, this contains the best action writing I have heard from Desplat. Most of the action tracks sound brilliant. I particularly liked the theme in "Statues" with the orchestra, percussion and choir slowly in the first half of the track. Additionally, a lot of the less action based tracks are also of high quality and maintained my interest throughout. The only real disappointment was the rather tame finale track "A New Beginning". It is very anti-climatic, with some sombre strings and no real reference to any previous theme. It did leave me feeling slightly cold. I would have loved a great version of Hedwig's Theme to close the album, or even an end credits suite.

On a production note, Desplat always chooses to have a very dry mix with little reverb present. In my opinion, whilst this might work well in some films, the lack of reverb in DHP2 reduces the sense of scale and makes the orchestra sound smaller than it actually is. It's a shame because his writing and orchestrations are of very high quality, and a bit of reverb would actually give a sense of physical depth in the music that would push it to a new level. On a similar note, there are many tracks where a choir is present, however it is so quiet in the mix that it is barely noticeable. The whole CD seems to be fairly quiet though - you will have to turn the volume up loud to get it to a satisfactory level.

The Harry Potter film franchise has suffered from a lack of consistency in terms of composers, with each bringing their own unique musical style to the table. Apart from Williams' iconic Hedwig's theme, most of the other themes that were written by subsequent composers have fallen by the wayside. I personally think this was a shame, because there were some absolute beauties (for example "Harry In Winter" from Doyle's Goblet of Fire) that could have been incorporated into the later films. Like in the previous films, there are statements of Hedwig's theme in several tracks, however they are all "darker" variations which is fitting for the tone of the film. I have also read that Hooper's theme for Dumbledore from Half Blood Prince is present within the film and is very effective - however when I did not notice this on the CD which is unfortunate.

The CD runs in at 68 minutes, and I thought this was a decent length. As with any score release, there will always be music missing that you might have preferred, but I thought the balance of action tracks and slower emotive tracks was just right.

Overall, I think that DHP2 is a vast improvement over DHP1. Desplat's action writing has definitely improved, and the tone for the more emotional tracks is first class. I do believe that it would have benefited from having more reverb though. I genuinely think those who thought DHP1 was lacking would consider DHP2 to be a vast improvement. Whether it will be enough to satisfy the fans who loved John William's scores for the first three films is open to debate, and even Patrick Doyle's brilliant effort for Goblet of Fire. What is present in this soundtrack however, is sufficient darkness, decent action writing, and a more "magical" element that I think is fitting for the final film. I do believe the score will be more effective in the film than on CD, but that said, despite some of the flaws, it does make for great standalone listen, and those sceptical about the suitability of Desplat for DHP2 should give it a chance - I was pleasantly surprised how much I liked it.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Superb soundtrack from Alexandre Desplat, 16 July 2011
This review is from: Harry Potter - The Deathly Hallows Part II (MP3 Download)
I have always envied the ability of some (though not all) composers to embody not only the feel of the script, but the textural layers of the story. Alexandre Desplat has, in my opinion, completely accomplished this. Quite simply, he has created a beautiful soundtrack which embodies all those soundtracks for Harry Potter which have gone before, and yet, if you listen to his previous soundtrack compositions, is still clearly his own.

Fundamentally, I adore it. Thank you Alexandre for making the final soundtrack of the Harry Potter films simply the best.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Worthy Ending, 5 Aug 2011
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As a huge fan of books & films from the very beginning, I can't deny that I was sad, when this very last soundtrack was published, because it ment the end of what was a very long journey...
And this very last soundtrack doesn't disappoint. Alexandre Desplat shows us everything he can, and he can do a lot.
Main Theme of this last Harry Potter film is the haunting "Lily's Theme" introduced in the first track. A quiet piece, not really what you expect of what seems to be first of all an action packed finale. But Desplat shows us here, what the film really is all about. It is more or less the story of Snape and Lily. Of course you got the loud and bombastic pieces, but it all comes back to this very quiet theme.
It may be not the best of all 8 soundtracks (my favorite ones are still number 3 and 7.1) but it is enjoyable listening to.
Why only 4 stars?
Well, just because it is not as good as Desplats first Harry Potter Soundtrack but fits perfectly to the film and is a worthy ending for the series. If you are a fan of the film, buy it, if you are just looking for a good soundtrack without caring that much about the films, think about it.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Ticks most of the boxes, 8 Feb 2012
The last two Harry Potters were a lot different to the previous films, and hence the soundtrack is invariably different. There is nothing bad about this soundtrack, it sets the tone of the film well and is technically brilliant by Alexandre Desplat, however apart from the first track there isn't anything that really gets me excited. There isn't much connection to any previous soundtracks, and I found listening to this soundtrack that it is very listenable but doesn't quite cut it with me compared to previous Harry Potter soundtracks.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Lovely music, 13 Jun 2014
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A very good CD, excellent for listening any time. Would recommend it to any music-loving Harry Potter fan, as well as any classical/film music fan. A delightful CD at a brilliant price.
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5.0 out of 5 stars really good and came in the time stated, 20 May 2014
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Yep, we are always pleased when it comes to Harry Potter! I got this for my Mum's Birthday and it didn't disappoint :)
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5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic, 10 Feb 2014
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My sister loves harry potter merchandise and saw this to get with christmas money. She loves this and is a great gift for any potterheads.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Review, 11 Jan 2014
This cd was very good my family and I all enjoyed it. It is as good as all the other cd in this series.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Music mad, 30 Oct 2013
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I was completely happy and satisfied with the product. The product is everything I imagined and I was pleased with the price and packaging. Great tracks on the record with great quality.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Darker than previous soundtracks, 8 Oct 2013
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Although I really enjoyed this CD it lacked the balance of the previous outing, where tunes such as 'Lovegood' balanced the darker themes of the story.

However, it is very atmospheric and enjoyable. Perhaps the addition of the different rendition of Hedwig's theme that plays over the closing credits in the film would have addressed my criticism.
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