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Harry Potter 7CD Collection - MUSIC discussion

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Is this the part where my potential reputation goes down to shit by saying that I actually like Hooper's HP scores over Desplat's? I acknowledge the latter is the superior composer, but the DH scores feel like RCP lite in terms of their general approach (moreso 2 than 1). While neither OotP or HBP are what I'd call great, there are cues and ideas that do speak to me more and could work better in a more fleshed out effort. Though both ultimately do pale compared to Williams and Doyle.

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56 minutes ago, HunterTech said:

Is this the part where my potential reputation goes down to shit by saying that I actually like Hooper's HP scores over Desplat's? I acknowledge the latter is the superior composer, but the DH scores feel like RCP lite in terms of their general approach (moreso 2 than 1). While neither OotP or HBP are what I'd call great, there are cues and ideas that do speak to me more and could work better in a more fleshed out effort. Though both ultimately do pale compared to Williams and Doyle.

 

I get what you mean. Desplat is (probably) more clever and experienced, but Hooper’s scores had more... I don’t know, magic, probably? They’re not that great, but they feel kinda “right” for the world of Potter, even if they’re not as complex and beautiful as the ones composed by Williams (or Doyle — that one grew on me), while Desplat’s epic and swirling tracks always felt a little bit... soulless. 

 

My favorite alternate universe is the one in which JW composed the score for all eight movies and Yates wasn’t involved that much (even if I liked 6 and 7). What would I give for more Williams and more Cuaròn (I’m always dreaming of a Hogwarts Battle 10 min long take... oh, well)

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12 minutes ago, redishere said:

I’m always dreaming of a Hogwarts Battle 10 min long take

 

All I wanted in life was for the Deathly Hallows movie to include an order 66-style montage of the Battle of Hogwarts deaths after that, complete with something equally as epic as Anakin's Betrayal

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What I admire about Hooper's scores is the way they compliment the scenes they're written for and still find a way to bring warmth and magic to the series, even if they aren't as bold as what came before. They too can soar and convey emotions and a I always encountered the dismissal of Hooper's work as having simply come after arguably some really powerful scores, like having a starter after the main course. What really bugged me was how the reaction had affected Hooper. Leave the man alone, he did fine considering the giant footsteps he was following in!

 

 

I think whilst having different composers did bring some nuance and change to each story and I admire Doyle's, Hooper's and Desplat's work, it ultimately meant that there wasn't an overarching musical narrative like Star Wars, where one voice (Williams, duh) was telling the story. Bringing back Leaving Hogwarts at the end was a great nod to figuratively wrap up the series, but imagine the impact we might have experienced had Williams written something new for that moment that was in equal measure poignant and bittersweet. Not to mention undeniably 'Williams' Potter'. 

 

 

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2 hours ago, TheUlyssesian said:

I think Desplat's Hogwarts defense theme has tremendous impact in the film. 

 

 

This is as well scored a sequence as you will find in the post Williams potter films.

 

Idk why, but it never really did much for me. It's certainly a highlight from the DH2 score, but his DH1 work resonates far more with me, as does Hooper's HBP score.

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8 hours ago, Arpy said:

What I admire about Hooper's scores is the way they compliment the scenes they're written for and still find a way to bring warmth and magic to the series, even if they aren't as bold as what came before. They too can soar and convey emotions and a I always encountered the dismissal of Hooper's work as having simply come after arguably some really powerful scores, like having a starter after the main course. What really bugged me was how the reaction had affected Hooper. Leave the man alone, he did fine considering the giant footsteps he was following in!

 

 

I think whilst having different composers did bring some nuance and change to each story and I admire Doyle's, Hooper's and Desplat's work, it ultimately meant that there wasn't an overarching musical narrative like Star Wars, where one voice (Williams, duh) was telling the story. Bringing back Leaving Hogwarts at the end was a great nod to figuratively wrap up the series, but imagine the impact we might have experienced had Williams written something new for that moment that was in equal measure poignant and bittersweet. Not to mention undeniably 'Williams' Potter'. 

 

 

Well, although I totally agree that score fans mistreated Hooper, part of me knows that was always to be expcted. I'm sure Hooper is a capable composer for different projects and it was therefore up to someone to stop him (and Yates) on Harry Potter.

 

As for bringing back Leaving Hogwarts, I thought it was the cheesiest and most grating thing they could ever have done. I've said this before, but in the eighth movie, it always sounded to me like some executive went: 'Oh my God, this is the last one, and this Williams guy seems to have a lot of fans and we totally ignored his input for like five years, bRING BACK WILLIAMS' MUSIC NOW!' Those tricks just don't work for me. If composers had consistently referenced each other's themes throughout the series (not just JW's!), it would have been a real emotional pay-off, but you can't just do your own thing for five years and then litter the last one with Hedwig's theme etc. to compensate.

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Yeah I also didn't like to hear a tracked Leaving Hogwarts at the end.
I mean, I know it's supposed to sound "right" for the last scene, but it felt like a rushed copy-paste decision.
And even if I enjoyed some of Desplat's cues (apart from the obvious Lily's Theme I really loved some of his atmospheric tracks in DH1, like The Exodus and Godric's Hollow Graveyard), I absolutely didn't like how he scored the battle scenes. I'm tired of these Jablonsky-style ostinatos, they make every action scene feel like a Transformers movie, or a crappy trailer.

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Yeah, the battle scenes were where the score really fell flat for me.

 

It's a shame because a cue like Broomsticks and Fire is really fun. I guess that for some of the actual battle scenes they wanted a more RCP 'wall of sound' approach to match the current trend. Obliviate really sets the tone for the scores, and that tone is not good.

 

Statues is the only cue from that part of the film that stood out as vaguely interesting, and it's the only battle cue I kept in my playlist.

 

On the other hand, I love Dragon Flight and Farewell To Dobby. I'd probably enjoy the two albums in a basic sense if I had them on in the background, but I rarely find they demand my attention. There is nice stuff - it's just not particularly great.

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1 hour ago, Richard Penna said:

Obliviate really sets the tone for the scores, and that tone is not good.

 

My thoughts exactly! I was excited for Desplat to score HP, I loved his ethereal work for Tree of Life and felt he was a great choice for the finale, but when DH1 started I heard that blockbuster-y thumping orchestra and went like “aw shit”

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2 hours ago, Holko said:

I don't like Lily's theme either; from what I remember it's just Generic Disinterested Ooh-Aah-ing Woman.

 

Starts off strong with the main title and Dragon Flight and then the wailing woman basically takes over from there. Plus the final battle version for Harry vs Voldy which is pretty uninspiring.

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10 hours ago, TheUlyssesian said:

I think Desplat's Hogwarts defense theme has tremendous impact in the film. 

 

 

This is as well scored a sequence as you will find in the post Williams potter films.

Sounds like Transformers

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I specifically noted its impact in the film - whatever you might think of it as music.

 

It is to the front of the mix in the music, and has a very somber, grave and desperate tone rather than any kind of "epic" tone. It also has flurrying orchestral activity signifying advanced magic and the cue is generally well synced to the action on screen. All in all, creates a palpable sense of drama and anticipation.

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I should probably give the DH soundtrack(s) another listen.
I'm surely biased 'cause I clearly remember how underwhelmed I felt after watching DH2 for the first time. Something clearly was missing, at least for me; when Harry stepped into the Rooms of Requirements and suddenly JW's music rised up as everyone's cheering, something clicked and I thought "oh, so that's what I used to feel during a Potter movie". Everything felt rushed (especially when compared to DH1, which I still think is pretty solid), not to mention the way some characters are treated by Yates, especially Pettigrew who I guess in the last movies was getting paid to have doors slammed on his face and to fall down in the silliest way possible.
 

Schermata 2020-01-29 alle 16.37.17.png 
 

 

 

OT:
Speaking of Pettigrew, I always imagined him to be quite different. 
I like Timothy Spall's portrayal of him, but I always found it a little bit too on-the-nose, 
and something in the way JKR described him in the book reminded me of Eddie Marsan.

world_end.jpg

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1 minute ago, redishere said:

when Harry stepped into the Rooms of Requirements and suddenly JW's music rised up as everyone's cheering, something clicked and I thought "oh, so that's what I used to feel during a Potter movie"

And still they kinda blow it by tracking in a slightly uneasy/threatening Hogwarts Sweep from just after they get detention in Chamber! Not that I can think of much better renditions or stuff to use there - maybe Gryffindor Wins which would be much too childish and cheery and unfitting. Here's a crazy idea: tell your composer what to compose for the picture, I'm not doubting Desplat could have written something cool.

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16 minutes ago, Datameister said:

I've never even picked up the DH2 soundtrack because of how much it underwhelms me in the film, @redishere, but the DH1 soundtrack is a different story. Some very nice writing there. "Sky Battle" is hands-down the best non-Williams Potter action sequence.


Yeah, despite my criticism for the more cliched sound, the DH1 film itself made me want to check the soundtrack, while I felt the opposite after seeing DH2

 

11 minutes ago, Holko said:

And still they kinda blow it by tracking in a slightly uneasy/threatening Hogwarts Sweep from just after they get detention in Chamber! Not that I can think of much better renditions or stuff to use there - maybe Gryffindor Wins which would be much too childish and cheery and unfitting. Here's a crazy idea: tell your composer what to compose for the picture, I'm not doubting Desplat could have written something cool.

 

You're right, Hedwig's B theme it's not that great of a choice, and Griffindor Wins would've probably clashed with the rest of the soundtrack's tone.
That's why any Williams needle drop is a potentially bad idea in any scene: it doesn't belong there.

I'm glad I've never won the lottery: I could never explain my wife I spent all the money commissioning JW to compose his version of the HP 4-8 soundtracks.

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I'm a bit surprised with quite a few agreeing with my assessment of the DH scores being very RCP esque in spots. I concede that separate from HP, it's alright. They're certainly more fitting in a Bayformers movie (I tend to think of "Autobots" myself when comparing "Obliviate"), and I like some of the scores in that series. It just feels wildly out of place for something that started off so magical and full of life. Even as it did switch hands initially, there remained an effort to try and maintain it in whatever manner allowed. And by the time we reached the end, all that really stood out were any tracked reprisals and one or two bits from the actual underscore. I don't really mind that anyone did replace Williams, but the fact only one score felt like it got anywhere to the level of the first 3 says a lot.

 

I'm still curious in hearing JNH's Fantastic Beasts scores, even if I aware it's not exactly his best stuff. The few samples I've heard makes it more in line with the stuff I'd like to hear from the series, which is pretty encouraging.

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24 minutes ago, bollemanneke said:

It had the magic that the franchise was lacking since GOF.


Maybe I'm wrong, but something tells me if we still had Hooper but with a different director than Yates, some magic could've been preserved.

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I just noticed something interesting in the track "Befriending the Hippogriff": the harpsichord heard at the beginning of the track sounds different when comparing the LLL track with the film version.

 

Here as two clips to compare:

@Jay Do you know if this is an alternate take or just another edit from the sound effects team (but no idea how they'd do that) ?

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OK, that's one step too far, the one with the descending notes is far superior. Jay, tell Mike he should start looking behind his back. (Don't mention he's not in any real danger until after he finishes Hook, all SWs and Indys!)

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On 2/2/2020 at 3:01 PM, Chewy said:

I just noticed something interesting in the track "Befriending the Hippogriff": the harpsichord heard at the beginning of the track sounds different when comparing the LLL track with the film version.

 

Here as two clips to compare:

@Jay Do you know if this is an alternate take or just another edit from the sound effects team (but no idea how they'd do that) ?

 

This has been brought up. It was a WHILE ago though, but yeah.

 

Last time it was mentioned I think Jay mentioned it was the SFX guys. I'd imagine honestly it was sourced from an alternate take or another cue altogether, can't say which, I didn't get that far with it. Mike probably chose the way it was recorded / written vs the small difference in the film. I've had to tolerate for my edit, I recall not wanting to use the film to fill in the blank there for some reason. Although the two clips you have there seem perfectly acceptable matches. I might revisit it.

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I prefer the film version.

 

Not sure why Mike chose an alternate take here. He's meticulous with using correct takes so it seems too obvious an error to be accidental. Maybe Williams himself heard both takes and requested the non-film one, for whatever reason?

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There's no harpsichord in the first bars of the sheet music, though.
Schermata 2020-02-04 alle 10.42.36.png

 

A sort-of film version of the harpsichord would've appeared after the double trouble statement of the woodwinds, matching the descending strings' 5-notes, but it's not there in the recording. Weird

Schermata 2020-02-04 alle 10.42.13.png
 

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39 minutes ago, redishere said:

A sort-of film version of the harpsichord would've appeared after the double trouble statement of the woodwinds, matching the descending strings' 5-notes, but it's not there in the recording. Weird

 

Could be a podium change then, after Williams heard his written intentions with the orchestra.

 

2 hours ago, bollemanneke said:

Isn't it very likely the film version is just an edit and that Mike presented it as recorded?

 

Shouldn't the film score assembly present the score as it appears in the film? It's a totally different take.

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Yeah... and it's pretty obvious the take used in the film is not the take on the LLL. If they did splice in just the harpischord section from an alternate take, it should have been represented on the LLL, just like all the various inserts which Mike used in the film score presentation over Williams' original intentions.

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