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Harry Potter 7CD Collection - MUSIC discussion


Jay

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I was also under the impression that Williams wrote the teaser music based on the book, not the script or even a cut of the film. Therefore he wasn’t officially a composer for the film. WB needed him to score a sizzle reel, they liked it and decided to bring him on. I thought this was mentioned in one of the interviews with Mike.

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On 12/12/2018 at 2:12 PM, Jay said:

I've added tabs that include the session leak tracks in my HP1 spreadsheet

 

https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1B59r_jImSzoPfypk-qxe5bZMNjyKkZcpIcOAks4kzHw/edit?usp=sharing

 

Are the other spreadsheets up? I didn't see them.

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1 hour ago, Jay said:

The teaser cue was recorded in November of 2000; the film was shot  from September 2000 to June 2001.  

 

I'm pretty sure he just wrote the music as a reaction to the book, and the teaser (which didn't debut until the summer of 2001) wasn't cut until principal photography was finished

 

The first teaser debuted a little earlier (March 1, 2001)

 

And seems principal photography actually wrapped later that month which seems right since Mattesino says spotting was late May. Though wouldn't doubt there were pickups/additional filming in June.

 

And according to the liner notes, sometime in the spring Williams "traveled briefly to England to see the assembled cut so that he could begin developing additional thematic material" then returned for the spotting with Columbus in late May. 

 

So seems the chronology is: John Williams is hired. Writes and records "Hedwig's Theme" during filming with only the book as inspiration. Teaser comes out. Filming finishes. Williams sees an assembly, starts composing themes with the movie itself now in mind. Spots the film with Columbus, presumably with Williams already having some musical ideas at this point. Composes and records the score.

 

(Also if anybody at the time thought the teaser music was Elfman, they weren't paying attention since it seems Williams was publicly announced January 26, 2001)

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7 hours ago, mrbellamy said:

 

The first teaser debuted a little earlier (March 1, 2001)

 

And seems principal photography actually wrapped later that month which seems right since Mattesino says spotting was late May. Though wouldn't doubt there were pickups/additional filming in June.

 

And according to the liner notes, sometime in the spring Williams "traveled briefly to England to see the assembled cut so that he could begin developing additional thematic material" then returned for the spotting with Columbus in late May. 

 

So seems the chronology is: John Williams is hired. Writes and records "Hedwig's Theme" during filming with only the book as inspiration. Teaser comes out. Filming finishes. Williams sees an assembly, starts composing themes with the movie itself now in mind. Spots the film with Columbus, presumably with Williams already having some musical ideas at this point. Composes and records the score.

 

(Also if anybody at the time thought the teaser music was Elfman, they weren't paying attention since it seems Williams was publicly announced January 26, 2001)

 

Yes. Sounds right to me.

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8 hours ago, Space Pineapple Prod. said:

 

Are the other spreadsheets up? I didn't see them.

 

20 hours ago, Jay said:

Here's a spreadsheet for HPCOS, it only has a tabs comparing LLL to OST for now

 

https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1Lenk84oELk7Uo6jN1ew4BTSDbfJvgJLfVxJxx2s_SKA/edit?usp=sharing

 

I haven't posted one for Azkaban yet

 

 

 

8 hours ago, mrbellamy said:

 

The first teaser debuted a little earlier (March 1, 2001)

 

And seems principal photography actually wrapped later that month which seems right since Mattesino says spotting was late May. Though wouldn't doubt there were pickups/additional filming in June.

 

And according to the liner notes, sometime in the spring Williams "traveled briefly to England to see the assembled cut so that he could begin developing additional thematic material" then returned for the spotting with Columbus in late May. 

 

So seems the chronology is: John Williams is hired. Writes and records "Hedwig's Theme" during filming with only the book as inspiration. Teaser comes out. Filming finishes. Williams sees an assembly, starts composing themes with the movie itself now in mind. Spots the film with Columbus, presumably with Williams already having some musical ideas at this point. Composes and records the score.

 

(Also if anybody at the time thought the teaser music was Elfman, they weren't paying attention since it seems Williams was publicly announced January 26, 2001)

 

Nice work!

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17 minutes ago, Jay said:

After all the talk this week of stuff not included or whatever, I was wondering if anybody here had anything complimentary they'd like to say about these scores and/or their presentations here?  I'd love to read more thoughts from people about all the great music here.  Thanks!

 

I've simply not had 8 solid hours to spare since receiving the set on Tuesday but I've been working my way through each score when I can steal an hour or so for myself.

 

I've listened to Stone and COS in their entirety now and as I type I'm up to 'The Werewolf Scene' from Azkaban. These are surely the definitive presentations of these scores and I am honestly left wanting for nothing.

 

I was only vaguely familiar with the session leaks for 1 & 2 but I was immediately struck by how fresh everything sounded. Not once have I thought that I've heard a particular piece too many times for it to sound exciting on this new set. The sound quality is incredible here, and the work that has gone in to the assembly of the complete scores is magnificent. They flow perfectly. I particularly like the decision to break from the C&C approach with Azkaban. I've said before that this score would feel a bit too "bity" or fragmented if presented in a strictly chronological way. The cue combinations really make Williams' work shine.

 

As for the quality of the music itself, it's Williams at his best. Does Harry Potter beat his work on the Star Wars films for me? Maybe not but they an equal at least.

 

I'd like to give writing a full review of each score a go at some point. For now though I'm nowhere near ready to stop listening for long enough! :)

 

Thank you again Mike, @Jay and La-La Land!

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I'll only be able to start listening to this on 25/12 (if it has arrived by then), so you can expect gushing and possibly some questions after that.

 

(Note to self: never tell family about LLL albums during Christmas again.)

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Here's something I noticed earlier. Are the strings playing the Sirius Black motif at the start of Apparition on the Train?

 

It's not mentioned in the liner notes as a spot where the motif appears. I've gone all these years thinking that Quidditch, Year 3 was Black's only appearance on the OST. It would be funny if he's been hiding there all along :P

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I can barely spare time to get through one of these scores uninterrupted so whatever might be still missing is of no concern to me really. Again, I have only passing familiarity with the scores as heard in films and never bothered with sessions so nothing can spoil the enjoyment of listening to these scores as presented on this set. And even if I did, it still wouldn't bother me much. With 8 hours of music on this set, complaining about the lack of this and that would have been, well, bit dickish. We are so spoiled!

 

I'm about to finish Chamber of Secrets. It's score with lots of great new music, some recycled stuff and probably tiny bit more filler. It's very enjoyable, of course, but doesn't feel as cohesive as the first one. New themes get 2-3 cues each to shine but it all feels bit too scattered. But it was never to be so there's that. I am absolutely ecstatic to have all the Chamber of Secrets theme statements after it was almost completely absent from the OST. I'm also delighted to have the Quidditch match cue. Although I never noticed there is a brief segment that seems to be lifted directly from... The Empire Strikes Back? So yeah, bit of a patchwork of a score but when it's good it's a real delight. I like how it feels tiny bit more adult and darker this time. Even Hedwig's theme feels less "cute" (for a lack of better description). There are some nice low key statements sprinkled throughout and even some of the more soaring passages seem to show a passage of time and (slow) ageing of the main character (like in Lucius Returns/Dobby Is Freed). Or maybe it is just me.

 

Oh and I like that flying car theme recurs in the score. It's a cute little "theme".

 

Karol

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42 minutes ago, Jay said:

After all the talk this week of stuff not included or whatever, I was wondering if anybody here had anything complimentary they'd like to say about these scores and/or their presentations here?  I'd love to read more thoughts from people about all the great music here.  Thanks!

 

I do have a lot to say like that @Jay. A rather long post in store that I haven't gotten to finish up yet. I should be able to tonight or tomorrow! 

 

The TL;DR / teaser of it is that this set means a great deal to me and is a huge milestone for so many of us, I think. I know I have commented this week whenever things are missing or different, etc. and there will inevitably be more like that the further we go, but I will be making sure that I take the time to let you all know how grateful I am for such an outstanding set. As I said, there is a lengthy post in the works. There is so much to be grateful for and I have some specific examples to call out as well. 

 

Coming soon!

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4 minutes ago, crocodile said:

Oh and I like that flying car theme recurs in the score. It's a cute little "theme".

 

Yea, I like it too!  And I like the recurring Lucius Malfoy motif too, as similar to the Separatist motif it may be

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1 minute ago, Jay said:

 

Yea, I like it too!  And I like the recurring Lucius Malfoy motif too, as similar to the Separatist motif it may be

I never knew there was one!


Karol

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I think Chamber of Secrets has been the biggest surprise here for me. I knew I loved the scores for Stone and Azkaban but, while preferring film 2 to the first, I always wrote off its score as nothing but a copy and paste job. Not just from the first Potter film either - the similarity of some cues to parts of Attack of the Clones struck me when I first saw the film.

 

Got to say though, hearing it in its complete form on this set is a minor revelation. The familiar doesn't bother me and the performance of the LSO is so good that I actually like hearing it again. Ross did a great job of adapting everything to fit the new film. The new material easily matches the quality of writing from Stone. How were 'The Chamber of Secrets' and 'Dobby the House Elf' not already on my radar as great Williams themes??

 

The music that sounds like it is lifted from AOTC...well, it still does but at least it doesn't have the background hiss in Chamber of Secrets ;)

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8 minutes ago, Alan said:

I think Chamber of Secrets has been the biggest surprise here for me. I knew I loved the scores for Stone and Azkaban but, while preferring film 2 to the first, I always wrote off its score as nothing but a copy and paste job. Not just from the first Potter film either - the similarity of some cues to parts of Attack of the Clones struck me when I first saw the film.

 

Got to say though, hearing it in its complete form on this set is a minor revelation. The familiar doesn't bother me and the performance of the LSO is so good that I actually like hearing it again. Ross did a great job of adapting everything to fit the new film. The new material easily matches the quality of writing from Stone. How were 'The Chamber of Secrets' and 'Dobby the House Elf' not already on my radar as great Williams themes??

 

The music that sounds like it is lifted from AOTC...well, it still does but at least it doesn't have the background hiss in Chamber of Secrets ;)

 

I think I said this in Discord a week or so ago, but I listened to the Chamber of Secrets OST for the first time ever, and I was shocked, after having ignored the score since the beginning of my JWFandom, by how "vintage" a lot of the score was...so many classic sounding Williams devices that even for my favorite year for Williams (2002), I thought, "Man, I didn't know he still wrote like this then." 

Really puts his most recent scores in perspective...they just sound so...bare and stale compared to the rich, present writing of scores like Chamber of Secrets.

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3 minutes ago, Alex said:

I don’t how I’m going to explain to my family that I’ll be spending Christmas with this CD set and not them.

 

It's quite simple. "Mom, Dad, I'll be spending christmas with this CD set and not you."

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Just now, Space Pineapple Prod. said:

 

It's quite simple. "Mom, Dad, I'll be spending christmas with this CD set and not you."

 

Harry Potter, The John Williams Collection is better than everything.

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1 hour ago, Nick Parker said:

 

I think I said this in Discord a week or so ago, but I listened to the Chamber of Secrets OST for the first time ever, and I was shocked, after having ignored the score since the beginning of my JWFandom, by how "vintage" a lot of the score was...so many classic sounding Williams devices that even for my favorite year for Williams (2002), I thought, "Man, I didn't know he still wrote like this then." 

Really puts his most recent scores in perspective...they just sound so...bare and stale compared to the rich, present writing of scores like Chamber of Secrets.

Well, you know, people were saying the same thing about Harry Potter when it came out. And they were saying that about Jurassic Park and Hook. It just depends on which generation of JW fan are you part of.

 

Karol

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Can anyone else hear the harpsichord playing throughout the POA end credits suite? I swear I can still hear it playing away in the background during Hedwig's Theme. If so it's a nice, if very subtle, way to give the theme a little of the Azkaban flavour.

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1 minute ago, Richard Penna said:

PoA is the real revelation for me. I'd largely written off the Buckbeak rescue and time travel cues. Something has changed since receiving the box - it might simply be the removal of JW's idiotic album arranging and the restoration of some key sequences that makes the whole thing more interesting.

 

The restoration really brings out some of the details in the instrumentation. Even the music that was on the OST sounds much better and more detailed.

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1 minute ago, Richard Penna said:

 

I still think large parts of it are a copy and paste job, particularly the Quidditch, Second Year. However, generally the recycled cues do fit in well, and the original material absolutely rocks. The flying car, aragog and basilisk duel cues have always felt like minor classic JW set pieces.

 

And JW has saved me having to listen to AotC to hear that amazing Chase Through Coruscant music!

 

PoA is the real revelation for me. I'd largely written off the Buckbeak rescue and time travel cues. Something has changed since receiving the box - it might simply be the removal of JW's idiotic album arranging and the restoration of some key sequences that makes the whole thing more interesting.

 

For me, CoS expands a pretty good OST into a fully rounded score, while PS and PoA really transform their scores by fixing ver dodgy albums.

 

This was probably answered before, but which track sounds like Chase Through Coruscant

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1 minute ago, publicist said:

Sadly they joined the cues so i have to keep the old 'Chasing the Snitch' cue from the bootleg which is the only one i want.

 

You can just keep the intro/outro from the bootleg and edit this version into that perhaps?

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3 minutes ago, Space Pineapple Prod. said:

 

You can just keep the intro/outro from the bootleg and edit this version into that perhaps?

 

I know but this usually is nuisance work. The boot sounded great to begin with, so why bother. I already have planned for some off day during christmas break to edit and splice all this stuff in Audition, as there is a lot of heavy editing necessary to make this *musically* listenable. I know MM did his best but this awful completeness craze now means having to edit tons of cues that connect good material with filler stuff. And it is a lot of material. Though with balletic material like this it's usually fun to create your own edits.

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2 minutes ago, publicist said:

 

I know but this usually is nuisance work. The boot sounded great to begin with, so why bother. I already have planned for some off day during christmas break to edit and splice all this stuff in Audition, as there is a lot of heavy editing necessary to make this *musically* listenable. I know MM did his best but this awful completeness craze now means having to edit tons of cues that connect good material with filler stuff. And it is a lot of material. Though with balletic material like this it's usually fun to create your own edits.

 

Personally I enjoy editing music like that, though I use Logic Pro for it.

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2 hours ago, Jay said:

After all the talk this week of stuff not included or whatever, I was wondering if anybody here had anything complimentary they'd like to say about these scores and/or their presentations here?  I'd love to read more thoughts from people about all the great music here.  Thanks!

 

*clears throat*

 

 

 

 

 

 

"....I like them. They're cool and stuff."

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28 minutes ago, crocodile said:

I actually the 3rd Commercial Cue from COS. It gives us a nice "alternate" of the arrival at Hogwarts material minus choir. I like it.

 

Karol

 

Don't you mean an alternate for the Hedwig Tries a Coke commercial from the first score?

 

The first CoS commercial is kind of nice with the transition into Fawkes' theme. I've put that in front of Lumos for now.

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2 hours ago, Jay said:

After all the talk this week of stuff not included or whatever, I was wondering if anybody here had anything complimentary they'd like to say about these scores and/or their presentations here?  I'd love to read more thoughts from people about all the great music here.  Thanks!

 

That owl song is kinda neat!

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2 hours ago, Jay said:

After all the talk this week of stuff not included or whatever, I was wondering if anybody here had anything complimentary they'd like to say about these scores and/or their presentations here?  I'd love to read more thoughts from people about all the great music here.  Thanks!

 

I've not had enough time to listen to the whole set yet (too many things to do at work before Christmas), but for now I'll say that the whole Azkaban is spectacular. And I'm referring to both the material itself and the presentation. I already had a high opinion about that score, but this new presentation really allows to appreciate so many details... I much prefer it with respect to the OST. I also found all the "editorial choices" (i.e., which cues should be put together in a single track) totally spot-on. For example, I loved stuff like the "Boggarts" sequence, where 5 or 6 separate small cues (almost insignificant if taken on their own) were combined into a very nice single piece.

 

I cannot wait to dig into the rest! 

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