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Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets


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Better late than never, eh? I posted somewhat irregularly in the beginning since I didn't have my own computer back in the day and had to do all my posting at the university. I suppose I didn't create

to quote Hillary Clinton "What difference, at this point, does it make?"

I just wish that when people offered me complete soundtrack recording sessions that it was for something I actually wanted to listen to.

Yeah quite a bit of it is junk. Most of the good stuff is being released officially.

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I just wish that when people offered me complete soundtrack recording sessions that it was for something I actually wanted to listen to.

Yeah quite a bit of it is junk. Most of the good stuff is being released officially.

Indeed, there was a load of stuff that leaked a few months ago - Poseidon (Badelt's), Prince Caspian, G-Force, and I'm not interested in any of them. Almost all of my recent acquisitions have been older scores.

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I just wish that when people offered me complete soundtrack recording sessions that it was for something I actually wanted to listen to.

Yeah quite a bit of it is junk. Most of the good stuff is being released officially.

Well, I was bluffing. I'm low on the totem pole. I have a few friends here who are kind enough to remember me when the nice releases we can't talk about are found, then there's my friends who politely say nothing, and then there's everybody else.

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I just wish that when people offered me complete soundtrack recording sessions that it was for something I actually wanted to listen to.

Yeah quite a bit of it is junk. Most of the good stuff is being released officially.

Indeed, there was a load of stuff that leaked a few months ago - Poseidon (Badelt's), Prince Caspian, G-Force, and I'm not interested in any of them. Almost all of my recent acquisitions have been older scores.

The G-Force that's out there is pretty crappy.

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So I guess nobody has this book then eh?

I've got the book. i consider it (as many) to be the "bible" for film music composers.

Do you have the version with all the HPCOS info in it? Anything else good in there?

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Second item:

Check out this youtube video (

)

This isn't a fake, is it? Some of that music is not available clean via the rear dvd channels right?

Dear God! :)

I think this is an elaborate hoax... (I hope so :P)

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Do you have the version with all the HPCOS info in it? Anything else good in there?

I know you weren't talking to me, but even the pre-COS edition is excellent. Lots of scores from Horner, Williams, and others, with plentiful discussions of specific techniques and considerations. It's got to be the best book on film scoring I've seen so far. And boy, that book is HUGE!

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So I guess nobody has this book then eh?

I've got the book. i consider it (as many) to be the "bible" for film music composers.

Do you have the version with all the HPCOS info in it? Anything else good in there?

yes, it's this version. well, it just has the complete cue list, and a description with timing notes of cue 2m11A "Cornish Pixies". that's all..

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It's a great, useful, hefty book. It has many score excerpts (incl. some underscore from Williams' Minority Report) and Davis' Matrix scores, amongst many others. A few cue sheets, and lots of other resources. Very useful.

.. and... I want those recordings! Let's be grateful though that we at least have a few seconds in that YouTube vid of unreleased music. :) I had forgotten how absolutely, masterfully great that Flying Car theme was.

I get the impression that Williams had little time to write this score, though... not from the quality of the work, at all, but because of the William Ross stuff, and I remember reading/seeing something about a tight schedule somewhere. Maybe this is one of the scores of his late career that started to put him off film scoring (I think this has happened, for reasons other than his age). That, and Star Wars' music editing. Maybe Williams feels he can't keep up with the ridiculous Hollywood deadlines anymore? How many composers are actually working without sequencers these days, after all. Also, I suppose Williams is now at a spiritual/artistic stage where he wants to be expressing himself musically recreationally, and not commercially (he doesn't need the $$$ after all).

I also feel that leitmotif / melodic themes have become a pastiche/clichéd thing amongst directors/producers now (I agree with what Conrad Pope was saying in a recent video interview that was posted here)...

I'm rambling, but to bring that round full circle, CoS is a great score that I shall definitely be listening to again now. Scrutinising it for its craft and mastery, and not for it's glitzy expensive production values (oh hi, Avatar!).

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.. and... I want those recordings! Let's be grateful though that we at least have a few seconds in that YouTube vid of unreleased music. :P

:lol: Good one! I'll add this video to my JW collection without hesitation!

I had forgotten how absolutely, masterfully great that Flying Car theme was.

Yes!!! ;)

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I've never liked the flying car theme. =/ Then again, I've never liked the score to COS as a whole...it was one of the things that ruined the movie for me.

That being said, I wouldn't mind being persuaded differently by the complete soundtrack someday. ;)

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I've never liked the flying car theme. =/ Then again, I've never liked the score to COS as a whole...it was one of the things that ruined the movie for me.

Now, that's a bit harsh. I can't believe that you mean that seriously.

The score in the movie wasn't as good as in the other Potter movies. The score didn't live up to expectations. But the score didn't ruin the movie.

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Then again, I've never liked the score to COS as a whole...it was one of the things that ruined the movie for me.

Well, it's easy to be picky because of the blatant re-hashes (Zam the Assasin in the Quidditch Match, Flying Keys for Cornish Pixies, Gilderoy Lockhart [iJ 'No Ticket'], etc.), but, those are only things that film score fanatics like us would notice. To say that the score ruined the film, is pretty unfair, therefore (IMHO). Apart from those rehashes, look at all the new great material that was written... and themes(!) - we don't get enough of those these days. The Spiders theme - cleverly crafted and memorable (and friggin' cool), the Flying Car theme, The Chamber of Secrets theme, Moaning Minge (or whatever her name was), etc.! 'tis a great score! Don't be so harsh on Mr. Williams ;) He wouldn't of rehashed like that unless there was a good reason - pressure from the production house to reuse ideas as a simple method to create a sense of unity throughout the franchise? ($$$)... or simply not enough time.

Kinda ties in with my last post about how it's absolutely rare now that a Hollywood production is going to be suited to Williams' approach to scoring films. That's why I honestly think we'll never get another score from him, except for Spielberg films and maybe something like Memoirs (a project which he is particularly interested in for personal reasons). I'm sure if the latter were to happen though, it would only be if Williams' agent could negotiate terms into the contract that would allow him to have enough time and creative freedom to create a nice piece of art, which is really what it should be all about.

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As adapted sequel scores go, this maybe the best. Maybe topped with Spuerman IV. But that one is not entirely Williams, nor does it mickick Williams style with 100% accuracy and there is less new williams composed music. (themes as oposed to themes and some scenes)

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I get the impression that Williams had little time to write this score, though... not from the quality of the work, at all, but because of the William Ross stuff, and I remember reading/seeing something about a tight schedule somewhere. Maybe this is one of the scores of his late career that started to put him off film scoring (I think this has happened, for reasons other than his age). That, and Star Wars' music editing. Maybe Williams feels he can't keep up with the ridiculous Hollywood deadlines anymore? How many composers are actually working without sequencers these days, after all. Also, I suppose Williams is now at a spiritual/artistic stage where he wants to be expressing himself musically recreationally, and not commercially (he doesn't need the $$$ after all).

I also feel that leitmotif / melodic themes have become a pastiche/clichéd thing amongst directors/producers now (I agree with what Conrad Pope was saying in a recent video interview that was posted here)...

I agree, you put it down quite well, Jack. Very well said.

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Well, it's easy to be picky because of the blatant re-hashes (Zam the Assasin in the Quidditch Match, Flying Keys for Cornish Pixies, Gilderoy Lockhart [iJ 'No Ticket'], etc.), but, those are only things that film score fanatics like us would notice. To say that the score ruined the film, is pretty unfair, therefore (IMHO).

Certainly - that's why I said it helped ruin the film for me. :lol: The film already seemed to have an overwhelming degree of sequelitis, and hearing music from the first film repeated verbatim in this one over and over again just made it all the worse. These note-for-note adaptations of music from HP:SS (and AOTC) constitute such a major part of the score that they're impossible for me to ignore in the film. Almost every major scene and transition has preexisting music in it, and it really bugs me!

Apart from those rehashes, look at all the new great material that was written... and themes(!) - we don't get enough of those these days. The Spiders theme - cleverly crafted and memorable (and friggin' cool)...

Or so obvious and onomatopoeic that any decent composer could have written it...

...the Flying Car theme...

Annoying!

...The Chamber of Secrets theme...

Could be worse. But most of what I heard in the film was the sorcerer's stone theme, either quoted verbatim or blown up to ridiculously operatic proportions.

...Moaning Minge (or whatever her name was)...

Don't even remember a theme for her. ;)

'tis a great score!

It'd be great if the music had been written for that film, not two or three others. :P

I realize there were realities of the production process that made it impossible for Williams to devote himself to writing a proper score. I'm not trying to say he had time to write something better - I just mean that the reality is that the score heard in the film really annoys me, regardless of the reasons for it being that way. And I must admit, this all seemed so ridiculously obvious to me that I was shocked back when I realized I was in the minority on this issue at JWFan.

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While it's far from being one of the worst scores written, it does feel "off" for some reason. Perhaps it would have been best if they had let William Ross compose his own score using Williams' themes.

Some of the cues do feel rushed.

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While it's far from being one of the worst scores written, it does feel "off" for some reason. Perhaps it would have been best if they had let William Ross compose his own score using Williams' themes.

Some of the cues do feel rushed.

Harry Potter And Chamber Of Secrets

"Music Composed And Conducted By William Ross"

"From Original Material Composed By John Williams"

laugh.giflaugh.giflaugh.giflaugh.giflaugh.gif

Or

"Original Harry Potter Themes By John Williams"

laugh.giflaugh.giflaugh.giflaugh.giflaugh.gif

Like in Superman sequels.

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I still have no idea WTF William Ross did .I've heard some of his other scores and there is no way in hell he could perfectly imitate JW to that degree.

He re-recorded "as is" some HPSS material but I think that's it. All the new music is JW

(see my signature)

The film itself is stupid and boring, so the score couldn't detract anything from it IMO

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This score has some of the best post-2000 Williams themes, in fact the new stuff is really good, I probably listen to it more than PS. The problem is the rehash music, which is made even worse by our knowledge of the new themes. Is such a shame to have a great theme like the Chamber go to waste. And the AOTC rehash is almost embarrassing. Still, it's a pretty good score, may even be my favorite Potter score.

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This score has some of the best post-2000 Williams themes, in fact the new stuff is really good, I probably listen to it more than PS. The problem is the rehash music, which is made even worse by our knowledge of the new themes. Is such a shame to have a great theme like the Chamber go to waste. And the AOTC rehash is almost embarrassing. Still, it's a pretty good score, may even be my favorite Potter score.

I agree. But the AOTC "rehash" isn't really embarrassing... we are probably the only ones who consciously pay attention to the music at that point. It's just the same musical idea used for a different scene (and movie). But it's not like they used the music recorded for AOTC and tracked it over the Qudditch scene. Now that would have been bad.

it's not worse than Home Alone 2

If you like Home Alone, I don't see how you can't like Home Alone 2.

Unless, of course, you're talking about the fact that so much music is reused. I don't like that fact, either, but the music itself, I love. And the new music is nice too. There is much new music in HA2m, after all.

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But the AOTC "rehash" isn't really embarrassing... we are probably the only ones who consciously pay attention to the music at that point.

Again, my claim has always been that these choices damaged my perceptions of the film. If all film music were written to just to be satisfactory for all the people out there who don't really pay attention, I never would have become a film score fan.

It's just the same musical idea used for a different scene (and movie). But it's not like they used the music recorded for AOTC and tracked it over the Qudditch scene. Now that would have been bad.

The effect is identical. I don't care whether it's the same recording or not...it's still the same music. Same goes for the Separatists' theme acting as Lucius Malfoy's theme - the effect is the same regardless of whether it's a new recording.

Regarding "Fawkes the Phoenix", Henry...the melody starts out gorgeous, but then it just starts wandering through pretty but directionless tonalities. It's the highlight of the score for me, but I've still heard Williams do MUCH better, even just in his "real" Potter scores.

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But the AOTC "rehash" isn't really embarrassing... we are probably the only ones who consciously pay attention to the music at that point.

Again, my claim has always been that these choices damaged my perceptions of the film. If all film music were written to just to be satisfactory for all the people out there who don't really pay attention, I never would have become a film score fan.

It's just the same musical idea used for a different scene (and movie). But it's not like they used the music recorded for AOTC and tracked it over the Qudditch scene. Now that would have been bad.

The effect is identical. I don't care whether it's the same recording or not...it's still the same music. Same goes for the Separatists' theme acting as Lucius Malfoy's theme - the effect is the same regardless of whether it's a new recording.

Regarding "Fawkes the Phoenix", Henry...the melody starts out gorgeous, but then it just starts wandering through pretty but directionless tonalities. It's the highlight of the score for me, but I've still heard Williams do MUCH better, even just in his "real" Potter scores.

You know, I see what you're saying, and I agree.

However, don't get me wrong, but you only seem to point out the negative points and dwell on them. For you, these points are so big and overwhelming that they overshadow everything, even the many, many good points. That's the impression I get.

You don't say anything about the great new themes and great new cues. They may not be brilliant (for some), but they are still great.

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I only dwell on the negative in this case because it was all that grabbed my attention when I saw the film. At every scene change, I was being distracted by reused music. Because I was already so familiar with the music of HP:SS (and I'm even more familiar with it now), these passages really stood out for me and lent the whole film even more of a "been there, done that" feeling. There's an establishing shot of the castle? There are lots of existing Hedwig's theme statements for that. There's some sort of mystery in the school again? Just throw in the stone theme! We're going into the Forbidden Forest again? Hey, there's music for that!

That was just my gut reaction to the score. I didn't go into the film looking for things to be annoyed by, or expecting the score to be terrible, or anything like that. It was just the reaction I naturally had. And I think I've been pretty fair - I've conceded that certain things work for me in the score. But on the whole, when all the scores it steals from are taken into consideration, COS is clearly bottom-of-the-barrel Williams to my way of thinking. I'm happy for all of you who like it better than I do...I just can't bring myself to understand it. :)

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I only dwell on the negative in this case because it was all that grabbed my attention when I saw the film. At every scene change, I was being distracted by reused music. Because I was already so familiar with the music of HP:SS (and I'm even more familiar with it now), these passages really stood out for me and lent the whole film even more of a "been there, done that" feeling. There's an establishing shot of the castle? There are lots of existing Hedwig's theme statements for that. There's some sort of mystery in the school again? Just throw in the stone theme! We're going into the Forbidden Forest again? Hey, there's music for that!

That was just my gut reaction to the score. I didn't go into the film looking for things to be annoyed by, or expecting the score to be terrible, or anything like that. It was just the reaction I naturally had. And I think I've been pretty fair - I've conceded that certain things work for me in the score. But on the whole, when all the scores it steals from are taken into consideration, COS is clearly bottom-of-the-barrel Williams to my way of thinking. I'm happy for all of you who like it better than I do...I just can't bring myself to understand it. :)

Yes, if we're talking about the impression we had upon watching the movie, you couldn't have expressed it better.

However, we all have the OS album, as well. So in retrospect, when we see what new music JW did write, CoS shouldn't fare so badly. Personally, I base my judgment on both: The music in the movie (which was mediocre to sufficient) and the music on the OS album (which is actually very good--not the best, but like I said, still great).

So, overall (for me), this is great work, although far from the best Williams works, which are outstanding.

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I only dwell on the negative in this case because it was all that grabbed my attention when I saw the film. At every scene change, I was being distracted by reused music. Because I was already so familiar with the music of HP:SS (and I'm even more familiar with it now), these passages really stood out for me and lent the whole film even more of a "been there, done that" feeling. There's an establishing shot of the castle? There are lots of existing Hedwig's theme statements for that. There's some sort of mystery in the school again? Just throw in the stone theme! We're going into the Forbidden Forest again? Hey, there's music for that!

This could have been done mainly for two reasons:

1. Williams had a very tight schedule because of Catch Me If You Can scoring overlapping with CoS, so he had to concentrate his efforts foremost on the new thematic material and the pivotal sequences (Flying Car, Spiders, Moaning Myrtle, Dueling the Basilisk). Hence he mapped out sections of the film to be scored with previously written material from the first film and gave this job to William Ross.

2. When JW saw the first cut, maybe several sequences were still unfinished/incomplete, so he had to write only in spots of film that were as definitive as possible. Maybe he and Columbus decided from the get-go to reuse material from the first film so that Williams could concentrate only on the new themes/main sequences. Or maybe Columbus really wanted Williams to reuse sections of the first score, much like Home Alone 2.

So we shouldn't blame Williams for not having been original enough on this film. I guess we were already much lucky to have some new gorgeous thematic material written exclusively by him. The question that remains is: why Williams hadn't just written the new themes and left the main scoring duties to Bill Ross, like he did with Courage on Superman IV? My theory is that he really wanted to continue the work on a prestige franchise like this and tried to do a new score as much as he could.

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The question that remains is: why Williams hadn't just written the new themes and left the main scoring duties to Bill Ross, like he did with Courage on Superman IV?

As I understand it, that was the original plan. However, the few pieces/themes William Ross wrote for the movie were rejected by the producers.

So Williams had to write more original music, and the rest was filled in with music from PS.

William Ross just pieced the cues together and conducted.

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Of course. In the end what really matters is the final result and our reaction to it.

Personally, I enjoy CoS quite a lot, esp. the concert arrangements of the new themes. But I would never say it's a masterpiece or Williams' best score ever.

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THe usage of Coruscant chase rhythm (lets be serious, its just the rythm, a musical layer, not a note by note rip off of the entire orchestra segment of that cue) is possibly the result of williams giving an AOTC sketch to Ross to work with.

Malfoy's theme could be the same.

Gilderoy lockart also, but if it is composed by williams entirely, they is just a tight schedule. Still it is not a note by note ripoff, and the orchestration is different. Not a real lazy work.

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At the time, the word on the street (from those who had contacts at WB) was that Williams wasn't planning on scoring the film because of his schedule and commitment to CMIYC. But it was said that Warner Brothers really wanted him to do it and probably made it worth his time financially as well as the arrangement for him to compose the 45-60 minutes of new music and have Ross adapt the music from the first film, as well as the newer material, to finish the score.

Given the short time it's apparent that Williams went to his bag of tricks and probably recycled / re-arranged some cues from previous scores.

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"Ahh yes, we have a phony professor who can't really do his own magic. Let's see what I have....ahhh the "No Ticket" from Last Crusade will make a good starting point. Let me do a little tinkering.....and Tada!" :)

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THe usage of Coruscant chase rhythm (lets be serious, its just the rythm, a musical layer, not a note by note rip off of the entire orchestra segment of that cue) is possibly the result of williams giving an AOTC sketch to Ross to work with.

Malfoy's theme could be the same.

Gilderoy lockart also, but if it is composed by williams entirely, they is just a tight schedule. Still it is not a note by note ripoff, and the orchestration is different. Not a real lazy work.

Just because every single note is not exactly the same does not mean that it's not a direct ripoff. If these passages had been used in the films they were borrowed from, no one would have batted an eye. They're just that similar. And besides, what REALLY got to me was the music taken directly from SS, and I'm sure most of that was identical down to the individual notes.

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