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Soundtrack Review

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The Complete Harry Potter Film Music Collection


Composer: John Williams
Performed by: The City of Prague Philharmonic Orchestra
Silva Screen Records
RRP: £13.99
Available 26 March 2012

This unique 2 CD, 34-track, collection of new recordings by The City Of Prague Philharmonic Orchestra brings together highlights of the music from all eight films in the Harry Potter franchise for the very first time. The double album features music from top film composers - John Williams (who received Academy Award nominations for two films in the series), Patrick Doyle, Nicholas Hooper and Alexandre Desplat Based on the Harry Potter novels by the British author J. K. Rowling, the film series form the largest grossing film franchise of all time with total worldwide revenues of over $7 billion...

The title of this collection is somewhat misleading. You'd be forgiven for thinking that The Complete Harry Potter Film Music Collection contained all of the music previously released on individual albums. What we actually have here are highlights from the majority of the films, with one track each for the last three movies in the series. The end result is 34 tracks, making up just under 2 hrs worth of beautiful music.

The entire first disc is taken up with highlights of John Williams's work for the first three movies. Disc two contains segments of Patrick Doyle's score for Goblet of Fire; highlights of Nicholas Hooper's score for Order of the Phoenix and one track for Half Blood Prince; and finally we have two tracks from Alexandre Desplat (one for Deathly Hallows - Part 1 and another for Deathly Hallows - Part 2)

I have to admit that I've been a bit lazy with picking up the Harry Potter soundtracks. This is mainly because I'm not actually a huge fan of the movies. While I do own all of Williams's scores, Doyle's album for Goblet of Fire and Desplat's score for Deathly Hallows - Part 1 (and this one is only because I had to review it) there are three scores I hadn't heard before. This compilation finally gave me a taste of Hooper's scores - and they impressed me enough that I've already ordered the original albums.

This is the perfect collection for soundtrack fans who have not purchased all of the Harry Potter scores. While the Williams's albums are almost essential purchases, Doyle and Hopper's offerings are also interesting and certainly worthy of your time. Desplat, on the other hand delivers a lacklustre collection of dull themes and atmospheric music - he's certainly not captured the spirit of what a Harry Potter movie is supposed to embody.

Track listing:

Disc 1

Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone (John Williams)
01 - Hedwig's Theme
02 - Harry's Wondrous World
03 - Nimbus 2000
04 - Christmas at Hogwarts
05 - Leaving Hogwarts

Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (John Williams)
06 - Fawkes The Phoenix
07 - The Chamber of Secrets
08 - Gilderoy Lockhart
09 - Dobby the House Elf
10. Cakes for Crabbe and Goyle
11. Reunion of Friends

Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (John Williams)
12 - Aunt Marge's Waltz
13 - The Knight Bus
14 - Double Trouble
15 - A Window to the Past
16 - Witches, Wands and Wizards
17 - Mischief Managed / A Window to the Past / Buckbeak's Flight

Disc 2

Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (Patrick Doyle)
01 - Quidditch World Cup / Foreign Visitors Arrive
02 - The Golden Egg
03 - Neville's Waltz
04 - Harry in Winter
05 - Potter Walt
06 - Black Lake
07 - Hogwarts March
08 - Another Year Ends
09 - Hogwarts Hymn

Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (Nicholas Hooper)
10 - A Journey To Hogwarts / Fireworks
11 - Professor Umbridge
12 - Sirius Deception / Dumbledore's Army
13 - Flight of the Order of the Phoenix
14 - Loved Ones and Leaving

Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince (Nicholas Hooper)
15 - Dumbledore's Farewell

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows - Part 1 (Alexandre Desplat)
16 - Obliviate

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows - Part 2 (Alexandre Desplat)
17. Lily's Theme


Darren Rea

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