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Harry's Wondrous World


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I would go as far as saying....If you don't like Harry's Wondrous World,your probably not a John Williams fan

to me it's what JW sounds like on his best day

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I also love the rumbling low brass and how it sounds like they're rattling the snares in 3:44.

Don't have the CD in front of me, but when I heard this at HB last year andgarbage I almost cried.

The parts that did that were the double bass parts.

The orchestrations are what really make it shine.

Hedwig's theme's best parts were the strings part of the score.

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I've always classified this piece into the "just a bit too much" category.

I'd choose Hedwig's Theme over this. To my ears at least, it has a much more pleasing development and culmination of ideas.

Thank you. I've been trying to verbalize that problem with the track for such a long time.

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To each his own, of course, but those of you who say they DON'T like HWW--you're basically saying you don't like the whole (or most of the) score! Because HWW includes both of Harry's main themes, the Quidditch Fanfare, and the Hogwarts Theme!

If you don't like Hedwig's Theme, I understand . . . because it's just that just, and the rather forgettable Nimbus Theme.

I love both, although--again--I prefer HWW.

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To each his own, of course, but those of you who say they DON'T like HWW--you're basically saying you don't like the whole (or most of the) score! Because HWW includes both of Harry's main themes, the Quidditch Fanfare, and the Hogwarts Theme!

Nonsense.

It's not about the themes or melodies in Harry's Wondrous World, it's about how they are presented.

Hedwig's Theme has a wonderful crescendo-like build to it. It starts small, takes us through several variations and B-modes with a fun finale.

Harry's Wondrous World is a nice suite, but I find it to be less coherent than Hedwig's Theme. It just starts strongly, rambles off its themes at the same level and then... finishes. I miss the development that is so satisfying and that I always so dearly enjoy in Hedwig's Theme.

Not that I dislike the track, btw. I just find it inferior to Hedwig's Theme.

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I'd have to disagree with you there Marc - I think Hedwig's Theme is the less coherent one. There are several points during the track where we go from one theme to another and the orchestra seems to almost stop, whereas what I love about HWW is how flowing and majestic it all is - it never lets up.

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I'd have to disagree with you there Marc - I think Hedwig's Theme is the less coherent one. There are several points during the track where we go from one theme to another and the orchestra seems to almost stop, whereas what I love about HWW is how flowing and majestic it all is - it never lets up.

Amen. :blink:

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If you don't like Hedwig's Theme, I understand . . . because it's just that just, and the rather forgettable Nimbus Theme.

Nimbus 2000 forgettable? Aieerrghowaprafdlvrgh!?!?!!! This cannot be!

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Forgettable is maybe harsh, but compared to Hedwig's Theme, Harry's Theme I, Harry's Theme II, the Quidditch Fanfare, and Gryffindor's Theme, it kinda is.

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It's second only to Hedwig's Theme. Those others are standard (if brilliant) fare for Williams. Nimbus 2000, however, is built entirely out of minor triads and triadic inversions. Such a mystical sound!

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Indeed; Nimbus 2000 is certainly the second-most recognizeable melody from the Potter scores (for the general public, anyhow), and very much associated with the Potter universe (again, probably right behind Hedwig's Theme). I've always thought it was quite a brilliant and "catchy" motif.

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Indeed; Nimbus 2000 is certainly the second-most recognizeable melody from the Potter scores (for the general public, anyhow)

That's just the point, I think. For the general public... but we're not that, are we? We are JW experts, so to speak.

Still, I might have missed something there. Which is the best and most memorable example of the Nimbus Theme on the OS?

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Well, it's fun to hear it develop from a mischievous little motif in "Prologue" and "Visit to the Zoo" into more full-fledged versions in "Mr. Longbottom Flies" and "The Quidditch Match," the latter of which features lots of action-oriented variations on the theme. A particular favorite moment of mine is 1:47 in "Hedwig's Theme," where the trumpets take the theme over from the woodwinds and the key changes. The following swirling celeste and string variations are fun, and of course the huge outburst is great - I love the sleighbells (tambourine?) accents.

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Hmmm... yeah, it is a great theme, but I think the more appropriate word is "fitting." This so aptly captures the magical mischievousness of it all... it somehow reminds me of Mickey Mouse in Fantasia, in summing up the danger and capriousness involved with magic. Still, I don't find it as impressive as some of the other themes like the ones I mentioned.

Harry Potter boasts such a wealth of musical themes . . . it still boggles my mind!

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To each his own, of course, but those of you who say they DON'T like HWW--you're basically saying you don't like the whole (or most of the) score! Because HWW includes both of Harry's main themes, the Quidditch Fanfare, and the Hogwarts Theme!

So themes are, once again, everything?

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This so aptly captures the magical mischievousness of it all... it somehow reminds me of Mickey Mouse in Fantasia, in summing up the danger and capriousness involved with magic.

What a coincidence, I'm listening to L'apprenti sorcier at this very moment. ;) I remember back in 2001 when I heard HWW for the first time (before I saw the movie) it immediately sprang to my mind that Williams hadn't done anything that good since the 1970s ... :P Man, I really hope he does The Deathly Hallows, I'm so curious what he would do with

horcruxes

,

Harry's temporary death

,

the final battle

and everything else ... :lol:

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This so aptly captures the magical mischievousness of it all... it somehow reminds me of Mickey Mouse in Fantasia, in summing up the danger and capriousness involved with magic.

What a coincidence, I'm listening to L'apprenti sorcier at this very moment. ;) I remember back in 2001 when I heard HWW for the first time (before I saw the movie) it immediately sprang to my mind that Williams hadn't done anything that good since the 1970s ... ;) Man, I really hope he does The Deathly Hallows, I'm so curious what he would do with

horcruxes

,

Harry's temporary death

,

the final battle

and everything else ... :P

I tell you, if it was officially announced that JW would score TDH, I would be excited as I am right now, about Indy 4!

:lol:

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Indeed; Nimbus 2000 is certainly the second-most recognizeable melody from the Potter scores (for the general public, anyhow)

That's just the point, I think. For the general public... but we're not that, are we? We are JW experts, so to speak.

Still, I might have missed something there. Which is the best and most memorable example of the Nimbus Theme on the OS?

I was in the general public when I heard it for the first time (i.e. not yet a Williams fan) - Nimbus 2000 is definitely the second most recognisable Potter theme.

Most memorable example of the Nimbus theme? Easily in "Quidditch", just as the game begins. I'm surprised you hadn't thought of that.

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The Flying Theme (I prefer that title to Nimbus 2000) is still my favorite Potter theme. My top 5, 'cause lists are fun:

Flying Theme

Hedwig's Theme

A Window to the Past

The Chamber of Secrets

Harry's Theme

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Hmmm, if I were to make a Top 5 Harry Potter list, Fawkes the Phoenix and Double Trouble wouldn't be missing...

But I think we've had that kind of thread before. In fact, I believe I started it! :(

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Anyone else think the scenes at Privet Dr. in the first film are not only overscored and intrusive, but horribly repetitive? It's almost like Williams really wanted viewers to remember his music.

I think that's why I never warmed up to a lot of the bold statements of any of the main themes. I love Harry's theme in a more delicate context, e.g. A Change of Season, and I love Hedwig's theme when it's used more mysteriously. But those big brassy statements and swelling string renditions of both Hedwig's theme and HWW are somewhat annoying, I think.

But in terms of concert tracks, Hedwig's theme is much more compelling I think. HWW, while nice, is very repititve. It keeps building, building, and building, and then it just slows down. Hedwig's theme's last minute is simply outstanding, and pure magic.

Ted

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I like it, but I think the arrangement feels forced (also, as if JW was trying to fatten the concert version by throwing in the Quidditch stuff). 'Hedwig's Theme' flows more naturally, and it's second half is absolutely fantastic, not a by-the-numbers concert track (probably because the ending was written for the trailer).

I am very fond of most of the themes from the three movies, frankly, even small ones, like Dobbie's theme, or Moaning Myrtle's. 'Double Trouble' is probably my all around favorite theme after the main theme. It's use in the movie is so fantastic, varied.....I get the distinct sense that JW had a lot of fun using the theme.

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Double Trouble is very inventive, and much more interesting than the themes he wrote for the first film. I love "Secrets of the Castle," when he interweaves double trouble with hedwig's theme. Great stuff.

Oh and I agree, Morlock. Williams seemed particularly inspired by Prisoner of Azkaban; probably because it's a brilliant movie with sublime images. His (complete) score for the movie is among his very best.

Ted

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Yeah, I agree. There's something about PoA that makes me feel excited, just thinking about it. Don't get me wrong, I love all 3 scores (yes, even CoS, how about that?), but Buckbeak's Flight, Aunt Marge's Waltz, Double Trouble... it doesn't get any better than this!

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I love "Secrets of the Castle," when he interweaves double trouble with hedwig's theme. Great stuff.

I can't get enough of the track. Several different kinds of goodness in it. You know JW must have had fun working on Cuaron's little twisted joke with the bird, that spirited woodwinds run.

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The only weakness of the first HP sountrack is (IMHO) that LSO didn't perform and record it. ;) It's still very good, inspired playing of course, but with LSO, it would've undoubtedly been even better. :( And, who knows what HWW would have sounded like ... :blink:

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Bah, the LSO isn't automatically perfect. Besides, wasn't Philosopher's Stone recorded with a studio orchestra in England that incorporated some LSO players?

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Bah, the LSO isn't automatically perfect. Besides, wasn't Philosopher's Stone recorded with a studio orchestra in England that incorporated some LSO players?

:blink: Beat me to it Henry!

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Bah, the LSO isn't automatically perfect.

It is when working under Williams. :(

OK, guys, you got the better of me, shouldn't've said anything. ;):blink:

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Bah, the LSO isn't automatically perfect.

It is when working under Williams. :blink:

Tell that to "A New Hope and End Credits"!

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The man's got a point. There is absolutely no energy in this cue. I credit that to both Williams and the orchestra.

Ted

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Chamber of Secrets sounds perfect, IMO, as does Fawkes the Phoenix.

Only LSO could have performed such complicated pieces so elegantly...

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The LSO did an admirable job on Chamber of Secrets, but let's not sell session players short - most of them are the best in their field and play in prestigious orchestras, including (in the case of Philosopher's Stone) the LSO itself. Chamber of Secrets was also exceptionally well mixed.

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I don't know, it seems to be that these 2 pieces are especially well-played. It's gotta be the orchestra, though... JW probably made them train hard with AotC, and that still shows in CoS!

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I've always considered PS to be a score with excellent performance from start to finish.

I bet some people would be raving about its magnificence even if the LSO performed it exactly the same way (or slightly worse).

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From how Williams and other composers have talked about them, I'd think that session musicians are every bit as capable as those that play in prestigious orchestras. Williams has said that they're the best sight-readers in the world, due to the time limitations of recording scores.

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I think the performances are perfectly fine. Frankly, I never understood why the LSO is considered so superior to the Hollywood orchestras. The performances on JW scores are almost always good, only real differences to be found, IMO, are in the recording quality.

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Of course, all orchestras that play for JW are top-notch, but nonetheless I think there are slight differences in quality performance-wise, that is.

For instance, LSO and HSO are slightly more superior than, say, BSO, I think.

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Frankly, I never understood why the LSO is considered so superior to the Hollywood orchestras.

It's not necessarily superior, just different. (Although I've heard or read from a number of serious and respected critics that LSO is possibly the best symphony orchestra in the world.) I don't know about you guys, but I myself am a musician, I've heard LSO perform live twice so far and I can easily say that sonically, they sound vastly different (in a very positive way) than e. g. our Slovenian philharmonic, which is also a very good orchestra. But LSO is nevertheless very different and much, much better. It's hard to precisely and painstakingly elaborate on how or why, some stuff here is very subtle and could also be perceived differently by a musician than by a non-musician.

Of all JW's recordings, I personally prefer the LSO ones, but of course, there's also a lot of great and inspired playing from American orchestras (I particularly like e. g. Home Alone, Home Alone 2, Jurassic Park, Hook etc.).

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The only weakness of the first HP sountrack is (IMHO) that LSO didn't perform and record it. :P It's still very good, inspired playing of course, but with LSO, it would've undoubtedly been even better. ;) And, who knows what HWW would have sounded like ... :cool:

Why on earth would it have been better? I've heard this complaint many times about the Hollywood musicians, who are some of the finest in the world. Many of my favourite scores were performed by the Hollywood studio musicians and I wouldn't have those scores any other way.

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Drax, read my post which precedes yours (Post #93). :P

Also JW himself has said when asked about the LSO (quoted from The Blue Box book): I love what we call here, or think of, as the British school of brass playing. It's a different sound to the European brass, I think, and certainly from our American brass playing, all of which is wonderful in their particular ways, but I love the British approach and tradition and style.

In any case, the LSO is only my personal preferential orchestra when it comes to soundtracks, so need to make a fuss about it. :cool:

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