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Harry Potter And The Deathly Hallows Part 1 by Alexandre Desplat


Josh500
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What is great about Desplat is that he can do "invisible" and subtle music most filmmakers require these days and make it interesting at the same time. He is probably one of the few composers who can successfully merge strong orchestral musical tradition with modern sensibilities.

Karol

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So, to the people complaining Desplat has forsaken John's themes, when exactly did you hear the entire score?

You can just take the tube and listen...

... or you can read the interview from Cannes, where Desplat said he'd of course use Hedwig's Theme when appropriate, ignoring all other themes of the three Williamses.

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True, although Hedwig's Theme seems to be the main issue, where you have people essentially calling Desplat a heretic because the OST barely features it. Also, things could have changed since Cannes.

All I'm saying is that it's a bit crazy to judge him now. If the movie comes out and it doesn't have half an hour of Desplat musically sucking John's cock, sure, burn him at the stake. But just wait a little bit.

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Where does all the dissing of PoA come from all of a sudden?

Hooper, Doyle and Desplat wouldn't be able to write something like Buckbeak's Flight even if they dreamed.

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Who cares? Why does it matter? John Williams forsook his own themes by the third film...keeping only Hedwig's Theme around. If the Maestro set that precedent, why does Alexandre Desplat need to break from it? Would it really please you? I don't think it would. It's clear that a good majority of people here will never settle for anything less than John Williams scoring the project. This is not about themes. This about you guys thinking anything but John Williams is sacrilege. Clean and simple.

If John Williams scored the second part under pseudonym, I have ZERO doubt in my mind you guys would bitch and moan it is not up to what John Williams could do. At best you'd say "Well, it's decent, except for the fact that he totally apes John Williams."

This is not about themes, this is about grasping at the most reachable straw to have an excuse to hate on a very adept, compelling, and intelligent work of music, because it's not written by the man who left the series of his own volition.

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Williams abandoned his themes in the third, so what?

One can argue as long as one wants ...

Where is Deathly Hallows' "Window To The Past"? Where is Deathly Hallows' "Double Trouble"? Where is Deathly Hallows' "Quidditch, Third Year"? Where are Deathly Hallows' setpieces? Aunt Marge's Waltz? Knight Bus?

So Williams abandoned his first themes, so what?

The issue is not exclusively that Doyle, Hooper and Desplat ignored Philosopher's Stone. The equally great issue is that they also ignored PoA.

Ignoring it means just assuming Williams would have tossed the whole of PoA out the window as well, had he done GoF (or HBP or DH).

And that is presumptous to no end.

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I suspect that the only reason 'Hedwig's Theme' is still used is because the composers are contractually obligated to do so a specific number of times in each score.

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Yes and even if they wanted to use it in greater capacity I think they had very little to say on that matter. So dismissing their work for doing what they did with these is quite pointless. If filmmakers wanted to have all these themes they would have requested just that. I guess the movie budget is big enough to pay for that.

Karol

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If John Williams scored the second part under pseudonym, I have ZERO doubt in my mind you guys would bitch and moan it is not up to what John Williams could do. At best you'd say "Well, it's decent, except for the fact that he totally apes John Williams."

I'd love to see what would've happened if William Ross had received full credit. "He hasn't bothered writing anything himself... he's nicked music from the first film.... the new stuff's crap..."

And back on topic, we have to remember the composer works for the director/producer. If they want no themes or an approach that would be unpopular with score fans, that's what they'll get.

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Who cares? Why does it matter? John Williams forsook his own themes by the third film...keeping only Hedwig's Theme around. If the Maestro set that precedent, why does Alexandre Desplat need to break from it? Would it really please you? I don't think it would. It's clear that a good majority of people here will never settle for anything less than John Williams scoring the project. This is not about themes. This about you guys thinking anything but John Williams is sacrilege. Clean and simple.

If John Williams scored the second part under pseudonym, I have ZERO doubt in my mind you guys would bitch and moan it is not up to what John Williams could do. At best you'd say "Well, it's decent, except for the fact that he totally apes John Williams."

This is not about themes, this is about grasping at the most reachable straw to have an excuse to hate on a very adept, compelling, and intelligent work of music, because it's not written by the man who left the series of his own volition.

Thumbs way up on your post Blue. With every day that goes by I respect you more and more.

You know, the Desplat may not sound like Williams' original music world. but as some have said, Potter has evolved a lot since then and I doubt if Williams came into this franchise without having done the first few, I think we'd be getting a very different score even from the maestro himself. Obviously we will never know for sure but I do think this would be the case.

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It's clear that a good majority of people here will never settle for anything less than John Williams scoring the project. This is not about themes. This about you guys thinking anything but John Williams is sacrilege. Clean and simple.

Finally someone posts the truth!!! You could say this for those that complain about other scores not written by Williams too IE: Superman Returns.

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One cue reminds of of the first lady's death scene from ID4 for some reason. And yes, that bit in track 22 does sound like Abandoned....

Listening more, this seems to be a score that works better as a listening experience than a 'pick a track' approach.

BTW, the 'deluxe' edition has appeared on Amazon.co.uk. Ho-ly fuck... £113. No Warner, of course you're not trying to milk this franchise for everything you can.

I'll probably buy the CD of this, just to keep continuity (I have all Potter scores on CD so far), and download the bonus stuff.

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BTW, the 'deluxe' edition has appeared on Amazon.co.uk. Ho-ly fuck... £113. No Warner, of course you're not trying to milk this franchise for everything you can.

How about expanded releases of the first 3 scores

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I feel it pertinent to point out that those trying to compare Desplat's score with Williams' entries in the series are completely disregarding the fact that even PoA was six years ago. It was a VERY different Hollywood back then, e.g. Goldsmith was still with us (albeit it for just a month longer), practically nobody knew who Giacchino was (The Incredibles was still about half a year off) and the bland Media Ventures sound wasn't nearly as ubiquitous then as it is now. Looking at the Best Score Oscar noms from that year we have Finding Neverland, The Village, The Passion of the Christ, PoA, and Lemony Snicket - all five expert orchestral accomplishments by composers with very distinctive compositional voices (although I'm sure some would quibble about some of those entries).

And of course it goes without saying that after 2005, we've only gotten a single John Williams score, so the last half decade has been all be devoid of his sound (sadly his influence hasn't been much felt either).

Like it or not by this point the established Harry Potter sound has to include the past six years and that means Doyle and Hooper's entries as well as the trend of less melodic/more understated film music. At the very least Doyle can wield an orchestra and for that I'm happy with this entry. I do miss the brilliant set pieces of composition that Williams provided in his scores, but given how abysmal most film music is these days I'll take quality in whatever form it comes in.

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Nice point. The sound for a film is dictated by what's hip at that point in time.

According to this theory, Star Wars should have been scored with some pop ballads.

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I just re-watched the Sorceror's Stone and I would have to honestly say it's not a good film score- it's great music on its own but the music rarely if ever matches the tempo, mood, and pace of the scene it accompanies. Honestly this film is probably one of Williams' least successful scoring attempts. I thought that originally when I saw the film and chalked it up to Chris Columbus' pedestrian directorial skills. I think that film is okay at best. A very flat style and I think Williams went off and scored the book. It's very disjointed. The action parts (Quidditch) are some of the few scenes where the music works well with its filmic counterpart rather than at odds with it. Strangely enough, Williams' Home Alone was very well done so I'm not sure what happened. I also found Stepmom completely divorced musically from its film (pun somewhat intended).

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I don't think you quite understood me.

I like the "new style of composition" very much, it's just that, without any more elaborate identity of the score, it leaves a very bitter aftertaste.

And would people please stop justifying the complete upside-down turning of the music by Hooper and Desplat by comparing it to Prisoner Of Azkaban?

Such a comparison is monstrously invalid, since PoA not only sounded like a Harry Potter score (which all that followed did not), it also filled the thematic void with a bagful of themes that are at least as vibrant as any that Williams wrote for Philosopher's Stone and Chamber Of Secrets.

I essentially agree with this, in that Desplat's use of color and orchestration is expertly crafted, but that his main melodic/motivic ideas - while certainly distinct and easily recognizable - aren't particularly compelling as a storytelling device. They're most definitely present, but I don't really hear a clear Point A to Point B through the course of the album. In the POA film, for instance, Williams very clearly develops his "A Window to the Past" theme, starting off with a very quiet, music-box statement in the beginning, and continually adding layers throughout the film until it reaches its full orchestral potential by the end. That said, this isn't nearly as clear on the OST, so I will wait to see DH: Part 1 before I really judge Desplat's musical storytelling. I'll stay optimistic, for now.

But purely as an atmospheric work, I think Desplat's score is pitch-perfect. I think the whole idea of something "feeling like Harry Potter" is dubious at best, but one thing that I do think Desplat shares in common with Williams that Doyle and Hooper did not is that I can very clearly pinpoint WHY Desplat made certain choices in his orchestration. Just as the brass fanfare evoked the bravura of the Quidditch scenes, and the contrabassoon perfectly represented that three-headed dog snoozing to the harp, so do the unsettling, exotic Eastern influences match the incredibly bizarre collector-of-exotic-things Mr. Lovegood, and the cello, celesta and lute (?) convey a dark, wintry night in "Godric's Hollow Graveyard". If the film didn't exist, it could still function as a concept album for the book (I agree with Fiery Angel that Williams' first HP score actually works far better this way, though I do still like its use in the film). While I enjoyed Doyle and Hooper's efforts, I could never really describe them as much more than "emotional", "comedic", "exciting", or "magical". I rarely sensed anything specific, that they were tailoring the music to the film, rather than merely "working it in", if that makes sense. That's what sold Desplat's score, for me.

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I just re-watched the Sorceror's Stone and I would have to honestly say it's not a good film score- it's great music on its own but the music rarely if ever matches the tempo, mood, and pace of the scene it accompanies. Honestly this film is probably one of Williams' least successful scoring attempts. I thought that originally when I saw the film and chalked it up to Chris Columbus' pedestrian directorial skills. I think that film is okay at best. A very flat style and I think Williams went off and scored the book. It's very disjointed. The action parts (Quidditch) are some of the few scenes where the music works well with its filmic counterpart rather than at odds with it. Strangely enough, Williams' Home Alone was very well done so I'm not sure what happened. I also found Stepmom completely divorced musically from its film (pun somewhat intended).

I'm interested by these comments. I don't necessarily disagree, but the film and its score are completely intertwined for me, having watched it so many times in my youth. Could you cite some specific points where you feel this is the case? I watched it again recently and a few moments jumped out as slightly disjointed, but for the most part I like it.

Chalk it up to nostalgia on my part, but I'm fairly incapable of critical thinking when I watch this movie now! Such a contrast to 6 years ago when I hated both of Columbus' HP films...

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Who cares? Why does it matter? John Williams forsook his own themes by the third film...keeping only Hedwig's Theme around.

I personally never thought that Williams forsook his own themes in PoA. Its just that PoA is wildly different from the first two stories. There was no Voldemort, no Fawkes and the story itself took a darker turn so warm fuzzy Harry's Wondrous World didn't really have a place in it either.

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I must add that after tubing the Desplat yesterday in full i don't see much reason to largen my sizeable Desplat collection - most of the cues are well written underscore with mousy thematic material and all the gripping sequences removed.

And i bet that it was Desplats' skill as a composer that some elements came out as compelling as they did - WB just doesn't want any big musical identity for those movies anymore. And it's totally irrelevant if composer X finds a way to sneak in Williams source material that plays out in the same mousy background way.

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Meh, pretty formulaic documentary with typical "we went to him immediately, he's amazing" backslapping. Anyone else getting really tired of that in interviews?

And I didn't realise the regular OST comes with a 5.1 download... why not a download of the bonus tracks instead?

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Meh, pretty formulaic documentary with typical "we went to him immediately, he's amazing" backslapping. Anyone else getting really tired of that in interviews?

And I didn't realise the regular OST comes with a 5.1 download... why not a download of the bonus tracks instead?

They have to sell those Collector's Edition boxes somehow.

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Yes the nearly 113£ is really an outrageous sum when they are not actually offering much more music, just few other collectible items and the LP vinyl disc and the DVD of 5.1. Audio of the soundtrack album. But that's collector's editions of some franchises for you.

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According to the booklet(which I downloaded) director David Yates wrote in it that when he heard the track "Ron's Speech" being recorded, he wanted Desplat for Part II. I don't know if he's actually going to be scoring Part II or not. I do say I know what he means because it's a beautiful track. You do hear Hedwig's Theme in "Polyjuice Potion", "Sky Battle" and "The Will". Considering it's a different type of movie because it doesn't take place at Hogwarts I think the soundtrack overall is appropriate.

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I've been listening very closely over the last 24 hours, and it's filled with emotion and meaning; just not the obvious thematic type.

Can't say it'll make me appreciate previous Desplat works much more - I think the project and requested style determines it more than the composer these days.

I won't be surprised if this turns up in the oscar list. (along with Inception and HTTYD - 2 scores that I'm certain have sufficient recognition).

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Why do people always assume the music from blockbusters will be nominated to an Oscar? It is more of an exception than a rule. Is Gustavo Santaolalla scoring something this year?

Karol

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I must add that after tubing the Desplat yesterday in full i don't see much reason to largen my sizeable Desplat collection - most of the cues are well written underscore with mousy thematic material and all the gripping sequences removed.

And i bet that it was Desplats' skill as a composer that some elements came out as compelling as they did - WB just doesn't want any big musical identity for those movies anymore. And it's totally irrelevant if composer X finds a way to sneak in Williams source material that plays out in the same mousy background way.

Sad fact is no one wants big scores any more- at least ones with themes and such. I'm working on a film score where the mandate is to be "subtle". But I'm trying to find ways to inject compelling ideas into it nonetheless. I'm super glad Desplat has managed to find a niche for himself where he can appease directors but also still have that musicality in his scores.

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Why do people always assume the music from blockbusters will be nominated to an Oscar? It is more of an exception than a rule. Is Gustavo Santaolalla scoring something this year?

Karol

If a score is from a popular movie, is noticeable in said movie, and the masses seem to like it, it'll be nominated.

It has fuck all to do with real quality.

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Well, I've been listening to the score more recently and I like a lot more. There's lots to love. And the action passages are very interesting. In fact, the best of them feel POA-ish, which is something that would be great if it was carried to Part II.

Now I can fully say that I won't be dissapointed at all if Desplat does Part II.

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No, not at all, actually.

If he'd just be a little more thematic, and a wee bit more "out there" with his themes, I'd have no objection.

The more I listen to the score, the more it gets me. It really does.

Imagine, with Desplat's obvious talent for interesting texture and effective emotional writing, what it would sound like, had he layered more interesting themes on top ...

David Arnold on Dawn Treader:

I spoke about it with Harry as we are friends and he was pleased that we were including his work as often it doesn’t happen, but I am aware of the effect his music has on those who care about these films and I think it would be churlish and ignorant to dismiss it as anything other than essential.

Take note of that, Mr. Desplat/Yates!

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I'm confused about something. Are you people listening to the complete score as heard in the film, or just the soundtrack album?

I just post at this forum to meet women.

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No, not at all, actually.

If he'd just be a little more thematic, and a wee bit more "out there" with his themes, I'd have no objection.

The more I listen to the score, the more it gets me. It really does.

Imagine, with Desplat's obvious talent for interesting texture and effective emotional writing, what it would sound like, had he layered more interesting themes on top ...

David Arnold on Dawn Treader:

I spoke about it with Harry as we are friends and he was pleased that we were including his work as often it doesn’t happen, but I am aware of the effect his music has on those who care about these films and I think it would be churlish and ignorant to dismiss it as anything other than essential.

Take note of that, Mr. Desplat/Yates!

Referring to the music: Shame what we got as composers, directors after Williams went... so many possibilities for an all time musical masterpiece and everyone blew it so far

What a relief that not all composers are so self focused and egoistic, i think i would gladly take David Arnold instead of Desplat anytime for the last Potter.

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I'm confused about something. Are you people listening to the complete score as heard in the film, or just the soundtrack album?

I would say it's the soundtrack album since the film hasn't been released yet.

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It's not that. Most of my favorite scores were not written by Williams. But in film series where Williams composed for some movies and some other guys composed for others, Williams wrote the better scores.

I was getting at how we're having detailed conversations about a score's usage in a film that very few have seen based on a soundtrack album that may or may not be indicative of the final score in the film.

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Yes I knew what you were asking which is why I replied that they are basing it on the album, not the film. I have yet to hear Desplat's entire score, nor have I seen the film. However my response about Williams being superior wasn't directed at you.

It could very well be better than Williams' HP scores.

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