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Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets -- Score Appreciation Thread


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Poll: The Chamber of Secrets -- Score Appreciation Thread (35 member(s) have cast votes)

How would you rate the track on the OS album "Fawkes the Phoenix"?

  1. 5 stars (20 votes [57.14%])

    Percentage of vote: 57.14%

  2. 4,5 stars (6 votes [17.14%])

    Percentage of vote: 17.14%

  3. 4 stars (6 votes [17.14%])

    Percentage of vote: 17.14%

  4. 3,5 stars (2 votes [5.71%])

    Percentage of vote: 5.71%

  5. 3 stars (1 votes [2.86%])

    Percentage of vote: 2.86%

  6. 2,5 stars (0 votes [0.00%])

    Percentage of vote: 0.00%

  7. 2 stars (0 votes [0.00%])

    Percentage of vote: 0.00%

  8. 1,5 stars (0 votes [0.00%])

    Percentage of vote: 0.00%

  9. 1 star (0 votes [0.00%])

    Percentage of vote: 0.00%

How would you rate the track on the OS album "The Chamber of Secrets"?

  1. 5 stars (11 votes [31.43%])

    Percentage of vote: 31.43%

  2. 4,5 stars (12 votes [34.29%])

    Percentage of vote: 34.29%

  3. 4 stars (5 votes [14.29%])

    Percentage of vote: 14.29%

  4. 3,5 stars (5 votes [14.29%])

    Percentage of vote: 14.29%

  5. 3 stars (1 votes [2.86%])

    Percentage of vote: 2.86%

  6. 2,5 stars (1 votes [2.86%])

    Percentage of vote: 2.86%

  7. 2 stars (0 votes [0.00%])

    Percentage of vote: 0.00%

  8. 1,5 stars (0 votes [0.00%])

    Percentage of vote: 0.00%

  9. 1 star (0 votes [0.00%])

    Percentage of vote: 0.00%

How would you rate the track on the OS album "Dobby the House Elf"?

  1. 5 stars (6 votes [17.14%])

    Percentage of vote: 17.14%

  2. 4,5 stars (4 votes [11.43%])

    Percentage of vote: 11.43%

  3. 4 stars (6 votes [17.14%])

    Percentage of vote: 17.14%

  4. 3,5 stars (10 votes [28.57%])

    Percentage of vote: 28.57%

  5. 3 stars (7 votes [20.00%])

    Percentage of vote: 20.00%

  6. 2,5 stars (1 votes [2.86%])

    Percentage of vote: 2.86%

  7. 2 stars (1 votes [2.86%])

    Percentage of vote: 2.86%

  8. 1,5 stars (0 votes [0.00%])

    Percentage of vote: 0.00%

  9. 1 star (0 votes [0.00%])

    Percentage of vote: 0.00%

How would you rate the Original Soundtrack Album of "Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets"?

  1. 5 stars (3 votes [8.57%])

    Percentage of vote: 8.57%

  2. 4,5 stars (9 votes [25.71%])

    Percentage of vote: 25.71%

  3. 4 stars (17 votes [48.57%])

    Percentage of vote: 48.57%

  4. 3,5 stars (4 votes [11.43%])

    Percentage of vote: 11.43%

  5. 3 stars (1 votes [2.86%])

    Percentage of vote: 2.86%

  6. 2,5 stars (1 votes [2.86%])

    Percentage of vote: 2.86%

  7. 2 stars (0 votes [0.00%])

    Percentage of vote: 0.00%

  8. 1,5 stars (0 votes [0.00%])

    Percentage of vote: 0.00%

  9. 1 star (0 votes [0.00%])

    Percentage of vote: 0.00%

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#1 Josh500

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Posted 07 March 2012 - 08:18 AM

I find the 3 concert pieces I mentioned here (and especially the first 2) some of the best writing of John Williams's entire career, on the same level as "Prologue" from Hook and "Hedwig's Theme" from PS! I can't get enough of them. So atmospheric, dramatic, heart-warmingly beautiful and moving, clashingly loud at times and soft and fragile as a butterfly's wing at other...

"Dobby the House Elf" is, in my opinion, also a fantastic and quite underrated piece. Could be right out of a Star Wars movie, in my opinion ("Little People," "Jabba the Hutt," "Yoda's Theme" etc.) At least sounds to me that way.

I might rate the Original Soundtrack Album of CoS higher than I rate The Adventures of Tintin (although not the music as heard in the movie, of course!).

Bottom line: all three concert pieces get 5 stars from me, the OS album 4,5 stars.

What do you think?

#2 Jay

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Posted 07 March 2012 - 02:14 PM

I think the HPCOS OST is an absolutely terrific album that is severely underrated around here for whatever reason. I think its a great listen from start to finish. Most of the highlights from the score made it and they avoided as much of the material that was rehashed from HPSS that they could.

I think Fawkes The Phoenix and Chamber of Secrets are two of my favorite JW themes and concert arrangements. All the (Many!) new themes he added to the HP world for the sequel score are really great and perfectly mesh with the original film's themes, but those two are the best and he wrote terrific concert arrangements of them.

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#3 Stefancos

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Posted 07 March 2012 - 02:33 PM

I personally think that this is a very average score, certainly of you weigh it against the rest of Williams' works.

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#4 Jay

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Posted 07 March 2012 - 02:37 PM

What do you think of the Fawkes The Phoenix and Chamber of Secrets concert arrangements judged in a vacuum?

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#5 Stefancos

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Posted 07 March 2012 - 02:45 PM

Listened to them just now, for you. ;)

Fawkes is OK I guess. But it like the score it feels like something written in a bit of a hurry. The the actually doesn't play in about half of the piece. And the rest of the music seem a bit unrelated to it. Harry Potter like underscore. I vastly prefer the very similar music from the Hedwig's Theme concert track or Harry's Wondrous World.

Chamber of Secrets is much the same. Theme theme is neither very mysterious or memorable, and JW cuts to generic music to often . (in that way it's a bit like Across The Stars, with that Nixon like middle bit that has nothing to do with anything in the score).
Again the concert tracks from Philosophers Stone are far better.

I prefer these 2 tracks to the concert tracks from KOCS though.

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#6 Jay

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Posted 07 March 2012 - 02:49 PM

Yea the only REALLY good concert tracks that came from IJKOCS are the ones he wrote later after the recording sessions - the new Marion's Theme and the actual Irina's Theme concert arrangement (the one on the OST is a combination of material from 3 film cues)

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#7 Stefancos

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Posted 07 March 2012 - 02:51 PM

Yeah the ones on the OST are dull.

I can listen to the concert pieces for CoS. they are fine. But when I listen to Harry's Wondrous World, or that last minute or so from Hedwig's theme! Pure John Williams heaven.

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#8 Joey

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Posted 07 March 2012 - 03:11 PM

Fawkes and COS are 5 star tracks, Dobby is very good, the overall album is a 4 out of 5.
The strings at the beginning of Fawkes is like a waterfall, utterly beautiful.
If it isn't high concept the it's not worth watching believed the pseudo superior one.

#9 Stefancos

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Posted 07 March 2012 - 03:13 PM

4 out of 5?

Old age must really be getting to you.
And this from the man who dislikes AOTC, a far better score then CoS.

So sad!

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#10 Joey

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Posted 07 March 2012 - 03:15 PM

4 out of 5?

Old age must really be getting to you.
And this from the man who dislikes AOTC, a far better score then CoS.

So sad!

AOTC is not a better score, it is the worst Williams score of the 21st century. It's worse than even the movie.
If it isn't high concept the it's not worth watching believed the pseudo superior one.

#11 Stefancos

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Posted 07 March 2012 - 03:16 PM

The least good, Joe...the least good.

And I would say CoS is a stronger contender. The cut and paste stuff from Philosophers Stone is just offensive.

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#12 Joey

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Posted 07 March 2012 - 03:18 PM

no Stefan, Attack of the Clones is a 1 star score.

Revenge of the shit isn't that much better, except for the Star Wars parts
If it isn't high concept the it's not worth watching believed the pseudo superior one.

#13 Stefancos

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Posted 07 March 2012 - 03:22 PM

If you were any other man I would advise you to go to hospital and get a scan for brain cancer!

You used to be brilliant Joe. What happened. Is this how people who remember me from the old days see me?

I blame David!

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#14 Joey

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Posted 07 March 2012 - 03:25 PM

except for my intial reaction after a midnight viewing of AOTC
I haven't been kind to that film since. And I've been hateful towards Revenge of the Shit ever since I saw it. It's the only Star Wars sequel/prequel that I didn't see on opening day.

I think John's work on the 3 HP films is far superior to his work on the terrible prequels. Okay I semi-sorta-like TPM in part but still don't care for Jarjar or the emperor, and it's so easy to see the missed opportunity with darth maul, who is visually stunning, but is like Alex's new fav film Watchmen, empty and souless.
If it isn't high concept the it's not worth watching believed the pseudo superior one.

#15 Stefancos

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Posted 07 March 2012 - 03:32 PM

CoS being the exception.

Much of it was not even written by JW.

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#16 Joey

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Posted 07 March 2012 - 03:35 PM

believe what you want Stefan, we know that Ross' contributions are virtually nil.
If it isn't high concept the it's not worth watching believed the pseudo superior one.

#17 Stefancos

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Posted 07 March 2012 - 03:37 PM

That's what you have been told by CoS apologists.

We also know Quincy Jones personally tossed out JW's score for The Color Purple.

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#18 indy4

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Posted 07 March 2012 - 04:32 PM

5, 5, 3.5, 3.5

Dobby's theme sounds great on the album, but it doesn't really fit the character very well.
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#19 Datameister

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Posted 07 March 2012 - 05:22 PM

"Fawkes the Phoenix" is a well-constructed and effective concert arrangement of a theme that starts beautifully but loses its way after a short while. "The Chamber of Secrets" is rather more enjoyable for me, but it doesn't feel very related to the film, partly because the theme was so underused in the score, and partly because the tone of that particular arrangement is so different from the tone of the score as a whole. And then "Dobby the House Elf" is just bland and annoying. Really can't stand it.

4, 4.5, 2, 4.

#20 Josh500

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Posted 07 March 2012 - 06:20 PM

Dobby's theme sounds great on the album, but it doesn't really fit the character very well.


Explain! Why not?

I think it fits the character perfectly... especially the first part, the theme as played by an English horn. So subservient and spineless...

I think the HPCOS OST is an absolutely terrific album that is severely underrated around here for whatever reason. I think its a great listen from start to finish. Most of the highlights from the score made it and they avoided as much of the material that was rehashed from HPSS that they could.

I think Fawkes The Phoenix and Chamber of Secrets are two of my favorite JW themes and concert arrangements. All the (Many!) new themes he added to the HP world for the sequel score are really great and perfectly mesh with the original film's themes, but those two are the best and he wrote terrific concert arrangements of them.


Well said!

I agree.

#21 KK.

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Posted 07 March 2012 - 10:07 PM

no Stefan, Attack of the Clones is a 1 star score.

Revenge of the shit isn't that much better, except for the Star Wars parts


Wow....I'm curious, how much of the board views the score that way? I think the score is bloody brilliant...


I think the HPCOS OST is an absolutely terrific album that is severely underrated around here for whatever reason. I think its a great listen from start to finish. Most of the highlights from the score made it and they avoided as much of the material that was rehashed from HPSS that they could.

I think Fawkes The Phoenix and Chamber of Secrets are two of my favorite JW themes and concert arrangements. All the (Many!) new themes he added to the HP world for the sequel score are really great and perfectly mesh with the original film's themes, but those two are the best and he wrote terrific concert arrangements of them.


Sadly this is not the only place that views the score as you described they do. I think its an absolutely fantastic score with much to love. I think people just need to go back and play it a few times to realize how great a score it was!

#22 Jeff

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Posted 07 March 2012 - 10:10 PM

Fawkes the Phoenix is one of my favorite themes and was the impetus for me purchasing the entire Chamber of Secrets OST in the first place. The bridge is a little flighty, but as the theme is written for a bird, it fits perfectly. In any case, the build from the bridge back into the climactic statement of the A-theme is all the more powerful because of it. I get goosebumps every time.

I rate the other themes from the OST in the 2-4 range, with Lockhart's "No Ticket" theme being my least favorite. It's still a strong score (as is AOTC, by the way), though not the most original or the best Williams has written. PoA is clearly a cut above, even though I prefer Fawkes to any of the new themes in PoA.

#23 publicist

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Posted 07 March 2012 - 10:22 PM

"Fawkes the Phoenix" is a well-constructed and effective concert arrangement of a theme that starts beautifully but loses its way after a short while. "The Chamber of Secrets" is rather more enjoyable for me, but it doesn't feel very related to the film.


The last thing on my mind when listening to HARRY POTTER music are the movies. I found the slaphappy simplicity of the FAWKES and CHAMBER concert cues a great reminder that Williams in a hurry can be much more entertaining than the over-academic-exercising Williams of the post JURASSIC PARK phase. At least for silly movies like this, although the themes sound as if Williams never bothered to watch the movie at hand.
You wouldn't see a subtle plan if it painted itself purple and danced naked on top of a harpsichord, singing "Subtle Plans Are Here Again."

#24 Score_Fan

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Posted 08 March 2012 - 01:27 AM

I love all of the scores to the potter movies, and I think this one is just as good a PS/SS

So, 5 all around.

#25 MrJosh

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Posted 08 March 2012 - 02:51 AM

I do like all three themes very much and I wish they weren't so underused in the score. I actually really like Dobby's theme. I think the it has such a beautiful melodic contour, though I don't think of "beauty" at all when I think of Dobby.

And then "Dobby the House Elf" is just bland and annoying. Really can't stand it.


Data, what makes Dobby's theme annoying? I like it quite a bit, but I'm just curious. Is it the flourishy-ness? the quirky string counterpoint when the horn section has the melody? The sudden and somewhat jarring key change near the end?

#26 Josh500

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Posted 08 March 2012 - 08:05 AM

"The Chamber of Secrets" is such a spine-tingling, dramatic, furious piece! I love it. So reminiscent of Dracula and The Fury.

"Dobby The House Elf" is reminiscent of some Star Wars pieces (The Little People, Ewoks, Jabba, and Yoda), like I said, but it also makes me think a little
of "Keeping up with the Joneses"! Wonderful, energetic, slightly bumbling piece.

Don't understand why some (even Datameister!) hate, or dislike, these pieces. But then, they just don't get what JW was aiming for... :P

Fawkes the Phoenix is one of my favorite themes and was the impetus for me purchasing the entire Chamber of Secrets OST in the first place. The bridge is a little flighty, but as the theme is written for a bird, it fits perfectly. In any case, the build from the bridge back into the climactic statement of the A-theme is all the more powerful because of it. I get goosebumps every time.

I rate the other themes from the OST in the 2-4 range, with Lockhart's "No Ticket" theme being my least favorite. It's still a strong score (as is AOTC, by the way), though not the most original or the best Williams has written. PoA is clearly a cut above, even though I prefer Fawkes to any of the new themes in PoA.


I seriously wonder why people seem to have such a positive attitude toward PoA and such negative one toward CoS!

Sure, PoA might be better than CoS overall (the CD representation, mind), but the difference in quality isn't that great, either.

In fact, nothing on the PoA album beats FtP and CoS (the track), in my opinion.

#27 BloodBoal

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Posted 08 March 2012 - 09:30 AM

The Chamber's theme is awesome; One of my favourite themes from the HP series. Such a shame it's so underused in the score. 4 stars for me.

Fawkes' theme is quite nice too, but the middle part just wanders around without having much of an impact. 3 stars

Dobby the House Elf... Hum... What? As annoying as the character. Stars? What stars?

CoS as a whole: 3,5 stars. The new themes are quite nice, and I prefer most of them to the ones in PS. And I bloody love the spiders-related cues, especially the part where Harry and Ron think they're out of danger in the car, and suddenly all the spiders starts appearing on top of the mound. Bloody love it!

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#28 Josh500

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Posted 08 March 2012 - 09:36 AM

I consider "Fawkes the Phoenix" to be an absolute masterpiece.

This is such an enjoyable piece, so perfect for the bird... and I know exactly what JW was trying to achieve! The 2 bridges, the increasingly complex orchestration of the main theme, the small flourishes here and there... ahhh...

Really, JW outdid himself here. In fact this piece is probably better than anything on the Tintin soundtrack (which itself is not too shabby)!

Fawkes' theme is quite nice too, but the middle part just wanders around without having much of an impact. 3 stars


If you think that about FtP, then you must really hate "Snowy's Theme," which "wanders around" quite a bit more!!

#29 BloodBoal

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Posted 08 March 2012 - 09:39 AM

I consider "Fawkes the Phoenix" to be an absolute masterpiece.

This is such an enjoyable piece, so perfect for the bird... and I know exactly what JW was trying to achieve!


What was he trying to achieve? Please, tell me, for I am a bit confused!

If you think that about FtP, then you must really hate "Snowy's Theme," which "wanders around" quite a bit more!!


Indeed!

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#30 Josh500

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Posted 08 March 2012 - 09:46 AM


I consider "Fawkes the Phoenix" to be an absolute masterpiece.

This is such an enjoyable piece, so perfect for the bird... and I know exactly what JW was trying to achieve!


What was he trying to achieve? Please, tell me, for I am a bit confused!


You know what?

If you don't get it just by listening to it, I won't explain it to you...

But listening to the bridges, I can tell you that all the flourishes are not accidental or random, they represent something. The temperament and pride of the bird, the flutter of the wings, the brief moment of danger, etc...

#31 publicist

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Posted 08 March 2012 - 10:13 AM

POA is a better score for the simple reason that Williams at last expanded his shopworn palette of Prokoviev and Shostakovich impersonations he employed on the first two POTTER films. Most fans are usually more than content with getting served the same meal every day, but since Williams is much more resourceful composer, it's a shame to force him to do endless retreats of plum fairy music.
You wouldn't see a subtle plan if it painted itself purple and danced naked on top of a harpsichord, singing "Subtle Plans Are Here Again."

#32 Incanus

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Posted 08 March 2012 - 10:15 AM

I think the HPCOS OST is an absolutely terrific album that is severely underrated around here for whatever reason. I think its a great listen from start to finish. Most of the highlights from the score made it and they avoided as much of the material that was rehashed from HPSS that they could.

I think Fawkes The Phoenix and Chamber of Secrets are two of my favorite JW themes and concert arrangements. All the (Many!) new themes he added to the HP world for the sequel score are really great and perfectly mesh with the original film's themes, but those two are the best and he wrote terrific concert arrangements of them.

Well said. I enjoy both the album and the new themes immensely. One of the better album arrangements from the Maestro.

Ars superior est vita hominum.

 

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#33 Josh500

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Posted 08 March 2012 - 10:18 AM

POA is a better score for the simple reason that Williams at last expanded his shopworn palette of Prokoviev and Shostakovich impersonations he employed on the first two POTTER films. Most fans are usually more than content with getting served the same meal every day, but since Williams is much more resourceful composer, it's a shame to force him to do endless retreats of plum fairy music.


Only a buffoon or a musical ignoramus would liken "Fawkes the Phoenix" and "Chamber of Secrets" to a "same meal which is served every day"!

Apparently you are only capable of appreciating a piece if it's obviously different not only from his usual style but in instrumentation and orchestration as well. In my opinion, "Fawkes" is quite an original piece. But apparently you can't see that, because here he hasn't emulated a distinctive composer that he has never emulated before as he has done with PoA... Or maybe it's just that, every piece that utilizes bells or a glockenspiel, sounds the same to you!

#34 publicist

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Posted 08 March 2012 - 12:24 PM

Only a buffoon or a musical ignoramus would liken "Fawkes the Phoenix" and "Chamber of Secrets" to a "same meal which is served every day"!


In your little garden this may rate as stuff dreams are made of, for sure.
You wouldn't see a subtle plan if it painted itself purple and danced naked on top of a harpsichord, singing "Subtle Plans Are Here Again."

#35 Josh500

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Posted 08 March 2012 - 12:44 PM

One of the better album arrangements from the Maestro.


Yes.

The entire first half of the album is immensely enjoyable, I think, even "Gilderoy Lockhart":

1. "Prologue: Book II and the Escape from the Dursleys" 3:31 2. "Fawkes the Phoenix" 3:45 3. "The Chamber of Secrets" 3:49 4. "Gilderoy Lockhart" 2:05 5. "The Flying Car" 4:08 6. "Knockturn Alley" 1:47 7. "Introducing Colin" 1:49 8. "The Dueling Club" 4:08 9. "Dobby the House Elf" 3:27 10. "The Spiders"

The second half is still enjoyable, but more of a hit and miss:

11. "Moaning Myrtle" 2:05 12. "Meeting Aragog" 3:18 13. "Fawkes Is Reborn" 3:19 14. "Meeting Tom Riddle" 3:38 15. "Cornish Pixies" 2:13 16. "Polyjuice Potion" 3:52 17. "Cakes for Crabbe and Goyle" 3:30 18. "Dueling the Basilisk" 5:02 19. "Reunion of Friends" 5:08 20. "Harry's Wondrous World"

Honestly, I don't much care about "Cornish Pixies", "Polyjuice Potion" and "Cakes." And yes, HWW is repeated here, but obviously JW wanted to include it here to present us the new ending! But "Dueling the Basilisk" and "Meeting Aragog," and "Reunion of Friends" are still further highlights.

#36 Jay

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Posted 08 March 2012 - 01:54 PM

Fawkes Is Reborn and Duelling The Basilisk are incredible tracks!

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#37 Joey

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Posted 08 March 2012 - 02:47 PM

I love the Spiders, after posting that article about the farm overrun with spiders that piece skittered through my head.
If it isn't high concept the it's not worth watching believed the pseudo superior one.

#38 Incanus

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Posted 08 March 2012 - 03:30 PM

I love the Spiders, after posting that article about the farm overrun with spiders that piece skittered through my head.

That was one scary article. It would have been even scarier if those wee beasties had arrived to that music. :P

Ars superior est vita hominum.

 

"We pop out and come into the world and music is there. We didn't invent it - it's all organised in the atmosphere by divinity or whatever. It's a miracle." - John Williams-

 

I think music is a stream of some kind. It could be blood. It could be water. It could be ether. Whatever it is it seems to be a living, organic force that’s in motion, that serves humanity and is part of humanity and part of what describes us as humans. We sing, play, dance, all the things that we do. And there is a vibrant and great literature we have been given. ... As musicians, we join the stream. We swim in the stream with all the other millions of music makers. It’s a life force, a strong one, surrounding us and we are part of it. -John Williams-


#39 mrbellamy

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Posted 08 March 2012 - 08:50 PM


Dobby's theme sounds great on the album, but it doesn't really fit the character very well.


Explain! Why not?

I think it fits the character perfectly... especially the first part, the theme as played by an English horn. So subservient and spineless...


I agree with you. I think the theme, and the arrangement as a whole, fits the various aspects of Dobby's personality perfectly. It's at once pathetic, sad, irritating, funny, and heroic. Which is very much Dobby's character throughout the books, but has a special resonance after Deathly Hallows. I always thought a very mournful rendition would have worked well for his death.

Actually, come to think of it, what Alexandre Desplat ended up using to underscore Dobby's final words doesn't sound that far off from the third phrase of Williams's theme. Or at least, the rhythm is the exact same: two quarter notes, two eighth notes, four quarter notes.

#40 BloodBoal

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Posted 08 March 2012 - 09:04 PM

I think the theme, and the arrangement as a whole, fits the various aspects of Dobby's personality perfectly. It's at once pathetic, boring, irritating, and annoying. Which is very much Dobby's character throughout the books.


I agree wholeheartedly.

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