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Harry Potter And The Deathly Hallows Part 1 by Alexandre Desplat


Josh500
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I very rarely buy actual CDs any more. Most are in the form of iTunes because it's less of an investment and I'm running out of room. Only re-issues or limited release CDs will I order or some like this HP by Desplat or John Powell's HTTYD where I want to enjoy the richness of the sound in CD format.

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Fair enough but by saying "I know more than you think" aren't you guilty of the very same thing you charge filmcomposer518 with?

Nah, it's not really comparable.

And yes, some people do lie and prop themselves up to be more than they are...

Ah, the Internet... :)

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Personally for me I'll continue buy physical CD's until the day they are no longer being made (hope that doesn't happen). There's nothing better than an uncompressed lossless format for scores. :)

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Personally for me I'll continue buy physical CD's until the day they are no longer being made (hope that doesn't happen). There's nothing better than an uncompressed lossless format for scores. :)

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If it were Desplat, he would be upset that so many have heard what they cannot buy yet. Will 100% of those who "have" the soundtrack also "buy" it, or delete it on the day it comes out? I don't think so.

If this had been a pet project of the labels, everyone would be sobbing or wringing hands in outrage that it's out.

I didn't download the actual files, just ripped the audio from the youtube videos. Enough quality for analyzing the music, and enough incentive to swap for the physical cd as soon as it's out.

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Personally for me I'll continue buy physical CD's until the day they are no longer being made (hope that doesn't happen). There's nothing better than an uncompressed lossless format for scores. :)

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I hope WB offer the score on vinyl outside of the box set.

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There were always guilty pleasure scores, like PotC is today, and subtle, more artful, harder to digest scores. And there were those occasional scores for big movies that combined both, tasteful music and a good dose of pure thematic enjoyment that made sense - that is the kind of film Deathly Hallows is. It's the very nature of the series, until David Yates thought he should turn them into some thought-provoking pieces.

That discrepancy between what the series is, and what Yates wants it to be, hurts both the films and the scores to this day.

I don't understand this complaint. The intention was always to start the movies off as a "fun, magical, adventure series" and then move away into darker, more dramatic territory. This is the tone that JK Rowling set in the book series, and Chris Columbus has even said that this was his intention from the beginning, and that he believes the Yates films are pretty close to the tone he had personally hoped to set by the end of the series, had he stayed on for the whole thing. One of the reasons that he made the first film such a magical and whimsical piece of escapism was because he had learnt through early discussions with Rowling that by the final page of the final book, the magical elements will have become secondary and even undesirable, that several main characters will have died, and that Hogwarts castle will have very nearly been burnt to the ground by Lord Voldemort. He wanted there to be that contrast in the movies.

And actually, I think you would find that most Harry Potter fans don't think Yates's films are quite dark or thought-provoking enough, when compared to the books. The biggest and most repeated complaint I heard about the 6th film from Harry Potter fans was actually that it was "too light, too funny, too romantic, too magical". I've never heard more complaining about a Harry Potter film from the fans than I did about that one, and every complaint was related to them leaving out something dark or dramatic in favor of something light or humorous. Not lingering on Dumbledore's death long enough, not delving at all into Rowling's ruminations on bigotry and oppression in the Voldemort flashbacks, shying away from the darker and more crucial, personal aspects of Voldemort's Horcruxes. Those were the things that stayed with people from the book experience, and a lot of people were incredibly upset that those things were glossed over, in favor of the "trivial" magical and romantic elements. And really, I don't see how the prominent use of Nicholas Hooper's "Dumbledore's Army" and "Fireworks" suggests that Yates only wants moody, subtle, "thought-provoking" music...

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Personally for me I'll continue buy physical CD's until the day they are no longer being made (hope that doesn't happen). There's nothing better than an uncompressed lossless format for scores. :)

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Don't you think it's more likely that iTunes will eventually move toward lossless format as bandwidth and file compression improvements continue in the next decade? Eventually, digital transfer will be good enough to reproduce the quality of a live performance. You won't need a CD except as memorabilia.

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And by the way, if you knew who I was, you would not be suggesting that I played second violin - nor that I was a prostitute with no artistic merit. In fact, I'm willing to bet that you just may even own a CD of mine :-)

I'm trying to guess who you are. ;)

It's Desplat trying to keep the insults at bay... :)

518 is 815 backwards. It's code. It's Michael Giacchino.

;)

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And by the way, if you knew who I was, you would not be suggesting that I played second violin - nor that I was a prostitute with no artistic merit. In fact, I'm willing to bet that you just may even own a CD of mine :-)

I'm trying to guess who you are. ;)

It's Desplat trying to keep the insults at bay... :)

518 is 815 backwards. It's code. It's Michael Giacchino.

;) I considered this.

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All joking aside though, I appreciate FilmComposer518's input and I can understand his frustration with some soundtrack fans. There's some silly people out there.

It's fandom.

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Dear lord, so many thoughts I want to write down, and so little time.

But on the very top of my list is this: I consider it pretty self-involved, not to say arrogant, to come onto a message board as a, apparently better known, film composer, to rub into people's face that you understand more than the rest, and then say "I don't have time for this crap."

What the hell is the point? The mighty artist can't communicate with the common rabble? How convenient that the common rabble doesn't know your name, since that rabble is supporting you by buying your stuff.

In fact, I would guess that the people on this board are amongst the few who still BUY it.

God knows there is quite a lot of discrepany today what fans would like to hear, and what they get, so screwing up any kind of discussion that could lead into something worthwhile by floating above the heads of anyone else is quite sad.

How very symbolical for the state of film music.

And yes, "10$ whore" is the only apt description for people who "conjure" scores like Clash Of The Titans.

To make this perfectly clear (again): Desplat's score is very good, and nicely contructed, and I'm sure it will work in the film, but you have to ask yourself whether that is really all the score should do, or whether you are just so baffled by the Hooper fiasco that anything would have made you nod your head in appreciation. DH is very enjoyable, but it is not any more memorable than the Golden Compass or Half-Blood Prince, nor will it ever be.

So don't listen to Deathly Hallows. Pop in some PoA and transport yourself to a place of robust, easy, memorable themes.

Ah, so all of a sudden, comparing one score of a series to another of the very same series (the very same storyline) is taboo, even though all of them should ideally hold up the same high standard?

You're assuming some black and white here, it is after all possible to like Deathly Hallows, and still point out its shortcomings.

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I think the problem is that when these little arguments take place they move beyond just stating ones point for each other. Honestly, FilmComposer518 at least validates everything he says with some sort of well stated evidence that he can back up. If you feel that you're being spoken down to when someone states something intelligently then that's your issue, not the one stating the argument. And if the only response you can start to give back is by making insults and calling modern film composers $10 whores for doing their jobs...well... credibility lost IMO.

In response to the other issue, i've liked a lot of Desplats work for a while now, and I had pre-ordered the collector's before this even leaked. I want those extra tracks dammit!

PS I don't think any of Yates actual direction work has hurt the series at all. He's the only director thus far to get the characters right: the first time i actually saw Dumbledore on screen as in the books was in HBP; the first time i saw Ron as brave and friend who would stick up for Harry (instead of simpering bit of comic relief) was in OotP). David Yates gets these characters a whole lot more than the other directors. Everyone of these films is flawed in their execution somewhere, it comes with the territory of adapting a series that is so beloved, its almost impossible to satisfy everyone, but Yates at least has done the characters justice. His direction has not hurt the series at all.

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Psh all we have to do is do a trace on his IP and we can pinpoint whether he is in CA or is a nobody. ;)

Er, there are more than a few guys working outside LA who are big time composers. Desplat, Yared, Chris Gordon, Mychael Danna, Howard Shore (New York), Elliot Goldenthal (also New York), and the list goes on. In this day and age with the wonder of technology, you don't actually have to live in L.A. to score a film in L.A. luckily. ;)

I think the problem is that when these little arguments take place they move beyond just stating ones point for each other. Honestly, FilmComposer518 at least validates everything he says with some sort of well stated evidence that he can back up. If you feel that you're being spoken down to when someone states something intelligently then that's your issue, not the one stating the argument. And if the only response you can start to give back is by making insults and calling modern film composers $10 whores for doing their jobs...well... credibility lost IMO.

Great post. My thoughts exactly.

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I think the problem is that when these little arguments take place they move beyond just stating ones point for each other. Honestly, FilmComposer518 at least validates everything he says with some sort of well stated evidence that he can back up. If you feel that you're being spoken down to when someone states something intelligently then that's your issue, not the one stating the argument. And if the only response you can start to give back is by making insults and calling modern film composers $10 whores for doing their jobs...well... credibility lost IMO.

Great post. My thoughts exactly.

Points? Which points?

His point is merely that he is "in the industry" and that we know nothing. That is his "point".

I make my points perfectly clear, and I deliberately put force behind behind them because I, lo and behold, take discussion serious and, *gasp*, actually try to convince people.

I do tend to stand very strongly behind my opinions, and if you can't handle it, and interprete your inability to handle it as "losing credibility", then this says more about you than it does about me.

What you perceive as losing credibility is actually you being too lazy to put forth some arguments.

The "10$ whore" is one line out of some lengthy posts; the fact that you clutch to this line shows that 1) you're apparently only able to communicate on that rudimentary niveau, and 2) that the rest of my posts is beyond your ability to comprehend.

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I'm curious how many people online you've convinced over the years by "standing very strongly behind your opinions"...personally, I've found that insulting other members of the discussion doesn't usually persuade them of my position, but your mileage may vary. Your tactic has clearly worked in this thread.

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When we were discussing the score, FilmComposer518 put up very valid musical points to do with why the score has more going on, and why Desplat is a far more intelligent writer than people were giving him credit for. He did not just say "i'm in the industry, so i know the score is good". He used his technical and musical knowledge to back up his argument perfectly.

The "working in the industry" is one line out of some lengthy posts; the fact that you clutch to this line shows that 1) you're apparently only able to communicate on that rudimentary niveau, and 2) that the rest of my posts is beyond your ability to comprehend.

;)

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Nicely put by Christian Clemenssen:

Some argue that the stories have become so dark that those original themes no longer apply. That's simply rubbish. These composers are professionals, and as such, they should be able to dazzle us with ways to manipulate the core themes of any franchise into intriguing new identities. Just because the hobbits in the The Lord of the Rings went through harrowing, life-altering challenges didn't mean that Howard Shore should abandon their core material at their darkest hour. The same applies to the Star Wars, Star Trek, and James Bond franchises and even "Lost" and "Battlestar Galactica" recently on television. Like the actors and their characters, thematic identities should change, mature, endure torture, and reach closure. Simply omitting them doesn't suggest closure. It suggests lazy composing or bad choices by a director.

I could add "ego" to the list.

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Nicely put by Christian Clemenssen:

Some argue that the stories have become so dark that those original themes no longer apply. That's simply rubbish. These composers are professionals, and as such, they should be able to dazzle us with ways to manipulate the core themes of any franchise into intriguing new identities. Just because the hobbits in the The Lord of the Rings went through harrowing, life-altering challenges didn't mean that Howard Shore should abandon their core material at their darkest hour. The same applies to the Star Wars, Star Trek, and James Bond franchises and even "Lost" and "Battlestar Galactica" recently on television. Like the actors and their characters, thematic identities should change, mature, endure torture, and reach closure. Simply omitting them doesn't suggest closure. It suggests lazy composing or bad choices by a director.

I could add "ego" to the list.

The problem I have with an argument like this: 1) There has been only one "core theme" for the entire series really, Hedwig's Theme, and 2) This theme shows up on the cd soundtrack multiple times, in different guises (see: intriguing new identities - but of course that's a matter of opinion, so: IMHO), sometimes only part of it, transformed to fit the mood (not restated 1:1 just for the sake of having it there), but it's referenced frequently enough. PoA doesn't quote it that much, either. And let's see where it pops up in the movie, in places that probably aren't on the cd.

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I will be as bold to say that none of the HP series has achieved the same level of cinematic greatness as those other franchises mentioned. I think in terms of filmmaking, they leave a lot to be desired and the only reason I had any interest in them myself was because Williams was scoring them. That said, the initial few were clumsy and poorly paced IMO.

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I love the films (warts and all) and agree that musically the series really could have been so much more. Williams himself left the old family theme at the door with PoA as well as many others. Some may say it would have been nice to hear 'Window to the Past' and other themes again throughout the series. But the fact of the matter is, that Williams was the man who made the choice to only retain Hedwig's Theme after CoS even though he scored PoA aswell. Perhaps if he'd kept another 2nd theme from the first films and carried that into the third aswell, we might have had another piece which the new composers on the series related to the musical identity of Harry Potter. But Williams was the one to break that consistency. Hedwig's Theme is the only consistent melody in the first three films, and therefore the only one that composers since have used. I for one love Desplat's use of it. And he references towards it far more often throughout the OST then the three tracks where it is clearly stated, he has integrated it beautifully into his score (the 'Sky Battle' version being my favourite so far) rather than having stick out like a sore thumb as something clearly written by someone else.

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I love the films (warts and all) and agree that musically the series really could have been so much more. Williams himself left the old family theme at the door with PoA as well as many others. Some may say it would have been nice to hear 'Window to the Past' and other themes again throughout the series. But the fact of the matter is, that Williams was the man who made the choice to only retain Hedwig's Theme after CoS even though he scored PoA aswell. Perhaps if he'd kept another 2nd theme from the first films and carried that into the third aswell, we might have had another piece which the new composers on the series related to the musical identity of Harry Potter. But Williams was the one to break that consistency. Hedwig's Theme is the only consistent melody in the first three films, and therefore the only one that composers since have used. I for one love Desplat's use of it. And he references towards it far more often throughout the OST then the three tracks where it is clearly stated, he has integrated it beautifully into his score (the 'Sky Battle' version being my favourite so far) rather than having stick out like a sore thumb as something clearly written by someone else.

I'm pretty sure Williams would have brought back old themes had he carried on with the series. PoA is just a very different film. If he had scored GoF I'm sure Voldemort's, You-Know-Who's and possibly the Philosopher's Stone's themes would have been used along with some others. I don't think he wanted to leave all the themes forever, just changed direction since the third movie is very different - both in the style of the movie and the composition of the story. ;)

(5:00am... maybe I'm not making any sense ;) )

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No no, i hear ya! Hehe

Its possible i suppose, and i guess we'll never know. I think the problem is that I just can't hear the Philosopher's Stone Voldemort theme suiting Ralph Fiennes' Voldemort. Then again though, I'm positive JW would have adapted it to make it work. The films and books really shift completely after the third though and i'm still not 100% convinced even Williams would have used a lot of the old HP sound.

Since we've been discussing the role of the composer with the director, part of me now wonders how much the shift in music was up to Cauron. I think Williams would have made PoA a very different score from the 1st two films regardless, but perhaps he would have woven more musical ideas from the PS/CoS into PoA and Cauron really kept pushing him towards a new direction. As i understand it, Cauron was obliged to use Williams contractually and otherwise wouldn't have done so, and is it therefore also because of Cauron's desire for something very different that Williams went in such a radically new direction with PoA?

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"Radically new" is a matter of definition. By the simple presence of Williams the film had continuity.

I'd wager that most director wouldn't be able to hear or understand Williams' way of continuing soundscapes anyway.

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Nicely put by Christian Clemenssen:

Some argue that the stories have become so dark that those original themes no longer apply. That's simply rubbish. These composers are professionals, and as such, they should be able to dazzle us with ways to manipulate the core themes of any franchise into intriguing new identities. Just because the hobbits in the The Lord of the Rings went through harrowing, life-altering challenges didn't mean that Howard Shore should abandon their core material at their darkest hour. The same applies to the Star Wars, Star Trek, and James Bond franchises and even "Lost" and "Battlestar Galactica" recently on television. Like the actors and their characters, thematic identities should change, mature, endure torture, and reach closure. Simply omitting them doesn't suggest closure. It suggests lazy composing or bad choices by a director.

I could add "ego" to the list.

The problem I have with an argument like this: 1) There has been only one "core theme" for the entire series really, Hedwig's Theme, and 2) This theme shows up on the cd soundtrack multiple times, in different guises (see: intriguing new identities - but of course that's a matter of opinion, so: IMHO), sometimes only part of it, transformed to fit the mood (not restated 1:1 just for the sake of having it there), but it's referenced frequently enough. PoA doesn't quote it that much, either. And let's see where it pops up in the movie, in places that probably aren't on the cd.

The problem I have with an argument like this is that Clemmenson is a well-established gimpoid and this is the equivalent of debating film directing using the opinions of Uwe Boll.

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I'm curious about something.

Back in 1982, did people whine this much because Goldsmith was not given Star Trek II? Did they clamor to get him back for III, or did it get to the point where they actually wanted Horner for IV?

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I love the films (warts and all) and agree that musically the series really could have been so much more. Williams himself left the old family theme at the door with PoA as well as many others. Some may say it would have been nice to hear 'Window to the Past' and other themes again throughout the series. But the fact of the matter is, that Williams was the man who made the choice to only retain Hedwig's Theme after CoS even though he scored PoA aswell. Perhaps if he'd kept another 2nd theme from the first films and carried that into the third aswell, we might have had another piece which the new composers on the series related to the musical identity of Harry Potter. But Williams was the one to break that consistency. Hedwig's Theme is the only consistent melody in the first three films, and therefore the only one that composers since have used. I for one love Desplat's use of it. And he references towards it far more often throughout the OST then the three tracks where it is clearly stated, he has integrated it beautifully into his score (the 'Sky Battle' version being my favourite so far) rather than having stick out like a sore thumb as something clearly written by someone else.

To be fair, Williams did use his "Nimbus 2000" themes very briefly and in a brand new arrangement, when Harry takes off on his Firebolt. So I think that's an indication that Williams had more old themes in the back of his mind than just "Hedwig's Theme", and that he was searching for opportunities to use them, but the film was so different in both style and content to the first two that there was really nowhere that any of them could fit. It's the only film that doesn't have Voldemort in it, the Quidditch match is more of a "chase through the sky" than an actual game, and it's the only film that doesn't actually have a real distinct, bonding moment between Harry, Ron and Hermione. I have a feeling that had Williams stayed on, we would have seen more of the Columbus themes in GOF, which not only brought Voldemort back into the fray but also featured a lot more of the "trio"'s friendship.

However, I do agree that any belief that Williams retained the same soundscape for the third film as he did the first two is mostly psychological, and is based on the mere fact that John Williams is the one who composed it. I can't shake the feeling that if any composer besides Williams had written that exact same score for POA, we would be hearing the exact same complaints: great score, barely any continuity, doesn't sound like Potter, bring Williams back. I actually think Desplat's work for DH reminds me more of Williams' POA than the first two scores do.

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Back in 1982, did people whine this much because Goldsmith was not given Star Trek II? Did they clamor to get him back for III, or did it get to the point where they actually wanted Horner for IV?

there was no internet

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I can't shake the feeling that if any composer besides Williams had written that exact same score for POA, we would be hearing the exact same complaints: great score, barely any continuity, doesn't sound like Potter, bring Williams back.

If someone else had written the exact same score for POA, that composer would have a bunch of new fans. It's a great score...unmistakably Williams, but it's unique among his works as well. There's barely any continuity, and it doesn't sound like the first two scores. But it happens to be an amazing score that fits the film like a glove, and although continuity is nice, it's less important than the sheer quality of the music.

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There is a big amount of continuity in PoA, because Hedwig's theme is used for about 5 minutes and you also have the Nimbus2000 theme from the first films!!! Please stay with the facts, the whole score is filled with small statements of Hedwig's theme, in counterpoint or just the first few bars bars. Additionally Hedwig's theme appears with the complete A and B part and with just the full A part in the film.

First of all in the beginning with its longest statement and another time time when Hedwig flies across Hogwarts while winter is coming.

The secret of continuity is to spread the main theme throughout the whole(!) score and additionally use full theme statements. Why did Hooper in OotP and Doyle in GoF (and probably Desplat) never play Hedwig's in full. (The only other Williams full theme statement with the B-part was the unreleased cue from Half Blood Prince. But in HbP the theme dissapeared after 30 minutes, so continuity was scrapped again there)

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Back in 1982, did people whine this much because Goldsmith was not given Star Trek II? Did they clamor to get him back for III, or did it get to the point where they actually wanted Horner for IV?

Oh I'm sure there are, in fact I do know at FSM and probably at JGOnline, there are members who feel Goldsmith's theme should have been used.

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Nicely put by Christian Clemenssen:

Some argue that the stories have become so dark that those original themes no longer apply. That's simply rubbish. These composers are professionals, and as such, they should be able to dazzle us with ways to manipulate the core themes of any franchise into intriguing new identities. Just because the hobbits in the The Lord of the Rings went through harrowing, life-altering challenges didn't mean that Howard Shore should abandon their core material at their darkest hour. The same applies to the Star Wars, Star Trek, and James Bond franchises and even "Lost" and "Battlestar Galactica" recently on television. Like the actors and their characters, thematic identities should change, mature, endure torture, and reach closure. Simply omitting them doesn't suggest closure. It suggests lazy composing or bad choices by a director.

I could add "ego" to the list.

The problem I have with an argument like this: 1) There has been only one "core theme" for the entire series really, Hedwig's Theme, and 2) This theme shows up on the cd soundtrack multiple times, in different guises (see: intriguing new identities - but of course that's a matter of opinion, so: IMHO), sometimes only part of it, transformed to fit the mood (not restated 1:1 just for the sake of having it there), but it's referenced frequently enough. PoA doesn't quote it that much, either. And let's see where it pops up in the movie, in places that probably aren't on the cd.

The problem I have with an argument like this is that Clemmenson is a well-established gimpoid and this is the equivalent of debating film directing using the opinions of Uwe Boll.

The problem with Filmtracks review is simple. Composers don't OWN the rights to these themes so they can't use them as they like. And the producers DON'T care for these anyway. Criticism like this is pointless. Of course Desplat is capable of adapting JW's material.

Having said that, I'm not very impressed with this score so far. It's fine, but The Golden Compass is so much better. As are many other scores in Desplat repertoire like Benjamin Button, for example.

Karol

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The problem with Filmtracks review is simple. Composers don't OWN the rights to these themes so they can't use them as they like.

No, Warner Brothers owns the rights to the Harry Potter music. So I'd assume any composer working on the Harry Potter franchise (i.e. for Warner Brothers) probably wouldn't have to bother with a lot of legal hoops when using previous themes from the series (there might be some royalty payments and proper accreditation involved, but you'd think that's about it).

Now whether any director actually wants these themes in their film is another story...

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