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Philosopher's Stone vs. Prisoner of Azkaban


Which score do you prefer?  

50 members have voted

  1. 1. Not the OS albums, but the score as heard in the movies

    • Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone (Sorcerer's Stone)
      20
    • Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban
      30


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They're about on par for me. But while Prisoner of Azkaban is full of unreleased gems, I just can't get excited about the unreleased stuff from Philosopher's Stone. The album is fine the way it is. I've listened to rear channel rips, and sure there are a few bits I'd like to see on CD, but meh. I'm actually pretty content with the OST, which is surprising given, you know, it's Williams.

Many people seem to forget, SS has Diagon Alley, which has a very medieval sound, too (although only part of it was used, I know).

Yet "Diagon Alley" is used in very specific, almost diagetic fashion. It represents Diagon Alley, and that's it. The medieval music in Prisoner of Azkaban encompasses a broader spectrum and contributes significantly to the tone of the score. It's all over the place, at least in the first half. Even "A Window to the Past" begins with a recorder solo.

It's not really medieval, though. It just sounds that way to untrained ears. If you want to be blown away, listen to Guillaume de Machaut's Mass. That's the actual medieval style (specifically the French Ars Nova style).

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Why is Williams wasting his time reading children's books?

AAAWWW the poor baby wants attention. awwww the little baby wants someone to validate his opinion of harry potter by arguing with him? AAWWW BOOO HOOO look at that that's so adorable. AAWW Poor baby get a bib and clean yourself up.

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Why is the second score always excluded? Is it because of Williams Ross' involvement?

No, usually it's included. This is the first time I think that it's been excluded. ;)

And yes, for Pete's sake get all the JW Harry Potter albums! I bought them each when they were first released, and I treasure them to this day... and I probably always will.

(Now that came out more schmaltzy than I intended, but it's true. :D)

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Many people seem to forget, SS has Diagon Alley, which has a very medieval sound, too (although only part of it was used, I know).

Yet "Diagon Alley" is used in very specific, almost diagetic fashion. It represents Diagon Alley, and that's it. The medieval music in Prisoner of Azkaban encompasses a broader spectrum and contributes significantly to the tone of the score. It's all over the place, at least in the first half. Even "A Window to the Past" begins with a recorder solo.

It's not really medieval, though. It just sounds that way to untrained ears. If you want to be blown away, listen to Guillaume de Machaut's Mass. That's the actual medieval style (specifically the French Ars Nova style).

Hmmm, yes, that's a good point. I never thought of "A Window to the Past" as sounding medieval, but some aspects of it certainly are.

So "Double Trouble," "Window to the Past," the short section at the beginning of "Hagrid the Professor" (when the ghost riders break in through the window; I love that, btw), and possibly the beginning of "Mischief Managed!" have all medieval-sounding elements?!

What else?

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Harry's Wondrous World is one of the most breathtaking, rich and holiday-ish pieces of music I've ever heard. Nearly worth the price of the CD itself imo.

The only problem with CoS as I see it, is that it reuses so much material (and in several places is either a re-record to fit the scene or just tracked) and was written in such a compressed timeframe that it was bound to be a bit inferior. It also used the passage from AotC which suggests time was short, and hence really doesn't contain the usual development you expect from a Williams score.

But yes, all 3 OSTs are must buys!

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Harry's Wondrous World is one of the most breathtaking, rich and holiday-ish pieces of music I've ever heard. Nearly worth the price of the CD itself imo.

I agree, although I don't see it as particularly "holiday-ish." It's just magical, fresh, exciting, and it reflects the "childlike wonder" of the young wizards.

The only problem with CoS as I see it, is that it reuses so much material (and in several places is either a re-record to fit the scene or just tracked) and was written in such a compressed timeframe that it was bound to be a bit inferior. It also used the passage from AotC which suggests time was short, and hence really doesn't contain the usual development you expect from a

Williams score.

What you're saying is true, but I don't see it as a "problem." People here seem to focus too much on the negative stuff when it comes to CoS. I think even the reused music works within the movie all in all (although, of course, it's far from JW at his best), and the 3 new main themes are absolutely brilliant and stunning: FtP, CoS, and DtHE.

But yes, all 3 OSTs are must buys!

Hell, yeah! ;)

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I'm actually not the biggest fan of Harry's Wondrous World. It has some breathtaking passages, yes, but other sections just don't do it for me - or I just prefer them in their original contexts in the score. There are other tracks on the OST I enjoy much more.

HWW is one of my top 5 tracks of all of JW's work, I would say.

It's not really a cue, it's like a medley of Harry's music... kinda like Mischief Managed! ;)

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They're about on par for me. But while Prisoner of Azkaban is full of unreleased gems, I just can't get excited about the unreleased stuff from Philosopher's Stone. The album is fine the way it is. I've listened to rear channel rips, and sure there are a few bits I'd like to see on CD, but meh. I'm actually pretty content with the OST, which is surprising given, you know, it's Williams.

Hm, it's actually kind of the opposite for me. SS has so much great unreleased music- Hagrid's entrance, the Great Hall entrance, Halloween and the troll, the whole forest sequence, the full Chess Match, the House Cup...

PoA does have some really good unreleased cues too, but overall I think SS gains more by listening to the whole score.

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I'm somehow more convinced than ever that we'll get an expanded edition of the first 3 scores (or at least of the first score) sometime in the not too distant future.

I just hope Laurent Bouzerau isn't involved, and please no more interviews! ;)

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Harry's Wondrous World is one of the most breathtaking, rich and holiday-ish pieces of music I've ever heard. Nearly worth the price of the CD itself imo.

I agree, although I don't see it as particularly "holiday-ish." It's just magical, fresh, exciting, and it reflects the "childlike wonder" of the young wizards.

Well I meant holiday as in Christmas holiday. And yes, childlike wonder really nails it.

I'm not saying the tracked/adapted bits in CoS don't work, just that they are a sign that the scoring process wasn't ideal. Vaguely like the lesser of the prequel evils in that lots was reused, but they did at least re-record most material and not edit it to hell.

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I'm not saying the tracked/adapted bits in CoS don't work, just that they are a sign that the scoring process wasn't ideal. Vaguely like the lesser of the prequel evils in that lots was reused, but they did at least re-record most material and not edit it to hell.

Yes, it's a real pity, somehow... we can only imagine what the score would have been like if JW had more time...

HARRY POTTER AND THE CHAMBER OF SECRETS

Music Composed and Conducted by

John Williams

A bit of wishful thinking there... ;)

Wow, this race is tighter than I thought... I think a few years ago, it would have been like 30 for PoA and 5 for SS.

:)

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They're about on par for me. But while Prisoner of Azkaban is full of unreleased gems, I just can't get excited about the unreleased stuff from Philosopher's Stone. The album is fine the way it is. I've listened to rear channel rips, and sure there are a few bits I'd like to see on CD, but meh. I'm actually pretty content with the OST, which is surprising given, you know, it's Williams.

Hm, it's actually kind of the opposite for me. SS has so much great unreleased music- Hagrid's entrance, the Great Hall entrance, Halloween and the troll, the whole forest sequence, the full Chess Match, the House Cup...

PoA does have some really good unreleased cues too, but overall I think SS gains more by listening to the whole score.

Maybe it's that the unreleased half of Philsopher's Stone is written very much in the same vein as the released half, making it (to my ears) slightly redundant. For example, the unreleased music for the House Cup (which I believe was adapted for CoS) is great, but it basically rifts on Harry's theme and Hedwig's theme, so I don't see it as groundbreaking. By contrast, since Prisoner of Azkaban is stylistically all over the place, some of the unreleased music is nothing like the album material. The cue for Harry finding out about his parents' murder, the sinister music for Peter Pettigrew and Sirius, the cue for Sirius's escape (the only description I can come up with is "awesome") ... none of this really has an equivalent on the album. Also, PoA is full of micro-edits, while Philosopher's Stone is not. The Window to the Past theme is basically removed from the score proper because the only underscore statement of it is joined with the concert (end credits) rendition, and then it doesn't come up again until the finale sequences. Peter's theme isn't even on the album.

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By contrast, since Prisoner of Azkaban is stylistically all over the place, some of the unreleased music is nothing like the album material.

For example? ;)

The cues I most want is stylistically very much in the same vein as what's on the OS album. Like the complete Saving Buckbeak, the two Buckbeak's Flight scenes, Dumbledore's Warning, Pettigrew's Theme, etc.

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Philosopher's Stone by far. I really have no idea what's so great about POA. Maybe it sounds the most like Star Wars?

:blink: Have you listened to PoA?

Sure have you? Of all the Potter scores this one sounds the most like Star Wars (prequels mostly). But it's ok, Doyle's GoF score's intro sounds like Batman.

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Pettigrew's theme... another why the hell do people love this so much?' theme for me. It's ok, but hardly JW's most innovative one IMO.

There are two cues I want from PoA, the one with the past theme where Sirius is talking to Harry after they leave the house and Pettigrew is pleading with Ron in the b/g. And of course, Rescuing Sirius, a clean rip of which is impossible due to the door being blown off.

But there's a heck of a lot more unreleased material I want from Stone. Thing is, given the London recording (hence low reuse fees) and the popularity of Potter I would've hoped for expanded versions by now. I'm sure JW and his disastrous presentation policy would have something to say about that though...

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Philosopher's Stone by far. I really have no idea what's so great about POA. Maybe it sounds the most like Star Wars?

:blink: Have you listened to PoA?

Sure have you? Of all the Potter scores this one sounds the most like Star Wars (prequels mostly).

What bits exactly? PoA sounds very different from any SW prequels to me.

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Philosopher's Stone by far. I really have no idea what's so great about POA. Maybe it sounds the most like Star Wars?

:) Have you listened to PoA?

Sure have you? Of all the Potter scores this one sounds the most like Star Wars (prequels mostly).

What bits exactly? PoA sounds very different from any SW prequels to me.

Yes, I agree. Except maybe the use of harpsichord, which crops up in Double Trouble as well as in Across the Stars? But that's too far-fetched, IMO.

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Very tough choice; both pretty much equal. Philosopher's Stone is a great score with great themes and many standout moments.

Prisoner of Azkaban is a great sequel abandoning much of the approach to the first film, while remaining great.

I'll go with Philosopher's Stone today.

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I can hear the Hook similarities, and I haven't heard Far and Away. But Jurassic Park? Star Wars? Those similarities are superficial at best, IMO.

No, it's not.

For example, certain portions of The Quidditch Match are reminiscent of the action writing in Jurassic Park, and The Chess Game is reminiscent of the battle scenes from TPM.

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Philosopher's Stone by far. I really have no idea what's so great about POA. Maybe it sounds the most like Star Wars?

:( Have you listened to PoA?

Sure have you? Of all the Potter scores this one sounds the most like Star Wars (prequels mostly).

What bits exactly? PoA sounds very different from any SW prequels to me.

Yes, I agree. Except maybe the use of harpsichord, which crops up in Double Trouble as well as in Across the Stars? But that's too far-fetched, IMO.

It was a charged statement. Of course Double Trouble (great cue) isn't anything like SW, but especially the action cues are not-so-inspired prequel like. IMO. PS is much more classic Williams: bright, innovative, complex and loaded with themes. POA is a good score, and it works great in the movie, but I find it too one-dimentional.

As the article says, it has certain aspects from Hook, Far and Away, Home Alone, Jurassic Park, and Star Wars.

So what's NOT to like? This is actually vintage JW. An instant classic.

Josh, I cannot agree more and I am glad to see there are people around that actually PS think it's one of JW's masterpieces. I get chills everytime I listen to this score.

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I don't think PoA is one-dimensional, but I agree that it's not as richly orchestrated as SS. But that's what people seem to like about it.

Just for the record, I adore all 3 scores. I'm not trying to put any of them down. I'm just observing that the original HP score seems to be a bit underrated...

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I actually prefer HP:PS over E.T., Superman and Star Wars (if we compare overall album, not separate cues).

Hmmm, I don't think I like SS more than E.T. and Star Wars, but this might be in my top 5 JW scores...

BTW, does anyone have the SS bootleg that's purported to exist?

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I actually prefer HP:PS over E.T., Superman and Star Wars (if we compare overall album, not separate cues).

Hmmm, I don't think I like SS more than E.T. and Star Wars, but this might be in my top 5 JW scores...

BTW, does anyone have the SS bootleg that's purported to exist?

I have the Crusher one but it is full of sound effects.

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Josh, I cannot agree more and I am glad to see there are people around that actually PS think it's one of JW's masterpieces. I get chills everytime I listen to this score.

I count both PS and POA among Williams' masterpieces. And I can't decide which one is "better".

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For example, certain portions of The Quidditch Match are reminiscent of the action writing in Jurassic Park

There is that motif that's practically identical to one in The Lost World, yes. I'll give you that one.

The Chess Game is reminiscent of the battle scenes from TPM.

Couldn't disagree more. Do you think you could provide some specific examples? I'm the first to admit when I'm proven wrong.

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