Harry Potter & The Order of the Phoenix OST Soundtrack
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For its fifth cinematic installment, the Harry Potter franchise gets a new composer as England's Nicholas Hooper (a usual collaborator of new director David Yates) succeeds Patrick Doyle and John Williams. The screeching electric guitar that suddenly errupts on the very first track, "Fireworks," lets the listener know that all is not quiet on the Hogwarts front. The kiddies are growing up, evil is spreading: which is worse?! But actually this modern sonic touch is deceiving: Hooper works within an old-school format and mostly sticks to tried-and-true effects. His score is best when it goes for tension and unease, particularly in its use of low, rumbling tones: A choir starts by humming in a menacing manner in "Dementors in the Underpass"; the sound at the beginning of "The Death of Sirius" feels as if it's being belched out from some deep, dark, scary place, creating an effective atmosphere of dread. Elsewhere, the beginning of "Possession" feels as if it belongs in a J-horror movie, and then the track becomes deceptively calm before the storm hits again. Keen listeners will recognize Williams' "Hedwig's Theme" in "Another Story," but mostly Hooper is his own man. Just like the overall series, which gets darker and darker as it goes along, this CD makes for a rather brooding listening experience--the pizzicato violins on "Umbridge Spoils a Beautiful Morning" provide one of the few jaunty touches. --Elisabeth Vincentelli
Top Customer Reviews
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!Read more ›
The Order of the Phoenix is a darker story in the Harry Potter series and the music reflects that. Whilst Hooper weaves Hedwig's Theme into the tapestry of his soundtrack, he introduces new colour and depth through a range of subtle devices and new themes. The palette is broad and varied and produces interesting results.
However, whilst this soundtrack mirrors the darkness of the story set to it, there is also some fun and a little romance to be found. The album begins with `Fireworks' which showcases the rebellious and mischievous nature of the Weasley twins. Though this music appears much later in the film and is certainly not the first piece of music in the movie it opens the album on a joyous, happy and riotous note.
The lightness of touch in `Professor Umbridge' and `Umbridge Spoils a Beautiful Morning' is ironic considering the damage the character causes to others and the particularly vile and sadistic nature of her personality.
From what should be the first track of the score but is in fact the third - `Another Story' - we are forewarned of the darkness awaiting Harry and the wizarding community. Opening with Hedwig's Theme, it quickly descends into a troubling and haunting refrain. Followed by `Dementors in the Underpass' we are given clear signals that all is not well in the wizarding world and that danger is certainly approaching. Low chanting and menacing tones are broken only by the heavenly Patronus music on which this piece ends.Read more ›
The music is very good but I felt that there could have been more of a development with the themes. I especially like the Umbridge theme, it is very quaint and comical and fits the Umbridge persona.
Personally I realy liked the goblet of fire soundtrack by Patrick Doyal and was a little dissapointed the music Nicholas Hooper produced for this film. I feel it did not completely capture the darkness of the magical world.
I gave it 3 stars mainly because of the arrangment of the music on the CD but I would have given it 4 1/2 stars for the music
Hoopers music has a more modern feel to it (especially in "Fireworks" with the electric guitar)and generally has a very bouncy, active "magical" feel surrounding it.
Hooper has struck a balance between showing progression through the series as a whole and entering film-specific music which explores the themes of tyranny, possession and trickery.
A grand piece of work.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I did not read the blurb well expecting story on cd not the soundtrackPublished 2 months ago by Dg Dickson
My five year old daughter is obsessed with Harry Potter- this CD is great at bedtime, as it helps her to fall asleep!Published 5 months ago by Bec
If you're a HP fan then this is a must.
Great music from a great film.
Follows on from the book & fiml of the same name. You have to work out the order of tunes in line with the film.Published on 7 Mar. 2014 by Amazon Customer
Gorgeous music. great to be able to have soundtrack from film highly recommendPublished on 11 Jan. 2014 by k.b
Nicholas Hooper uses the John Williams themes throughout the score which is so reminiscent of the Harry Potter story, wonderfulPublished on 11 Jun. 2013 by A. Smith