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What's the best and worst Harry Potter score?


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What's the best and worst Harry Potter score?  

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  1. 1. What's the best Harry Potter score?

    • Sorcerer's Stone (John Williams)
    • Chamber of Secrets (John Williams)
    • Prisoner of Azkaban (John Williams)
    • Goblet of Fire (Patrick Doyle)
    • Order of the Phoenix (Nicholas Hooper)
      0
    • Half-Blood Prince (Nicholas Hooper)
      0
    • Deathly Hallows 1 (Alexandre Desplat)
    • Deathly Hallows 2 (Alexandre Desplat)
      0
    • Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them (James Newton Howard)
      0
    • The Crimes of Grindelwald (James Newton Howard)
      0
    • Sorcerer's Stone (Jeremy Soule)
      0
    • Chamber of Secrets (Jeremy Soule)
      0
    • Prisoner of Azkaban (Jeremy Soule)
      0
    • Goblet of Fire (Jeremy Soule)
      0
    • Order of the Phoenix (James Hannigan)
      0
    • Half-Blood Prince (James Hannigan)
      0
    • Deathly Hallows 1 (James Hannigan)
      0
    • Deathly Hallows 2 (James Hannigan)
      0
    • Quidditch World Cup (Jeremy Soule)
      0
    • Cursed Child (Imogen Heap)
  2. 2. What's the worst Harry Potter score?

    • Sorcerer's Stone (John Williams)
    • Chamber of Secrets (John Williams)
      0
    • Prisoner of Azkaban (John Williams)
      0
    • Goblet of Fire (Patrick Doyle)
    • Order of the Phoenix (Nicholas Hooper)
    • Half-Blood Prince (Nicholas Hooper)
    • Deathly Hallows 1 (Alexandre Desplat)
    • Deathly Hallows 2 (Alexandre Desplat)
    • Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them (James Newton Howard)
    • The Crimes of Grindelwald (James Newton Howard)
    • Sorcerer's Stone (Jeremy Soule)
      0
    • Chamber of Secrets (Jeremy Soule)
      0
    • Prisoner of Azkaban (Jeremy Soule)
      0
    • Goblet of Fire (Jeremy Soule)
      0
    • Order of the Phoenix (James Hannigan)
      0
    • Half-Blood Prince (James Hannigan)
      0
    • Deathly Hallows 1 (James Hannigan)
      0
    • Deathly Hallows 2 (James Hannigan)
      0
    • Quidditch World Cup (Jeremy Soule)
      0
    • Cursed Child (Imogen Heap)


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Only considering the movies - never heard anything else.

 

Best: HP1

Worst: Deathly Hallows (either).

 

Hooper's have a mix of really good stuff and really dull stuff, but they feel like they belong in the same universe (moreso than Doyle's).

 

Unfortunately, Desplat's efforts go too far towards the generic RCP sound - which is likely not his fault, and is the direction Yates wanted to take the movies for the end, but it still means that for me they're largely pretty dull. I generally find there's about 20 mins of interesting material across his two scores.

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14 hours ago, Disco Stu said:

Goblet of fire below Desplat is something I truly, madly, deeply disagree with.  I'll forgive you ranking it below the JNHes since you're such a fan of his.

 

I believe I'm actually one of the few here who likes Desplat's DH scores. I thought they are pretty solid and have some great moments (Lilly's theme, Obliviate, Ron Leaves, etc.).

 

As for Doyle, I haven't listened to Goblet of Fire in years, but it didn't leave much of an impression on me.

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1. Chamber of Secrets (yes, it has everything the first one has, but it fleshes the ideas out and makes them better) 

2. Prisoner of Azkaban 

3. Philosopher's Stone 

4. Goblet of Fire (by far the best of the non-Williams scores) 

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5. Deathly Hallows 2

6. Order of the Phoenix (I like the themes, but the score doesn't feel big enough 

7. Deathly Hallows 1

8. Half-Blood Prince (Dumbledore's Farewell is great but the rest is meh) 

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In some ways I think COS is better than HPSS too, in that in includes most of what made HPSS great plus tons of new awesome stuff.  But it is missing Voldemort's theme which is a bummer.  I wish JW had composed a cue for the name reveal instead of them just tracking in HPSS recordings!

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45 minutes ago, Edmilson said:

 

I believe I'm actually one of the few here who likes Desplat's DH scores. I thought they are pretty solid and have some great moments (Lilly's theme, Obliviate, Ron Leaves, etc.).

 

As for Doyle, I haven't listened to Goblet of Fire in years, but it didn't leave much of an impression on me.

 

I quite like DH1. There aren't any catchy tunes or earworms to be found here, but the overall sound is closer to Williams's than with Doyle or Hooper. And I think the sky battle sequence contains the series's finest non-Williams action music.

 

But as I mentioned, when I watch DH2, nothing about the music ever makes me go, "Hmmm, I should buy the soundtrack."

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Desplat's first DH score feels like it's desperately trying to make up for Hooper's failed attempts at thematic material and general good writing. So he writes a plethora of themes, along with cleverly using Hedwig's theme like Williams did, (hell in Sky Battle he even brings back the 3 note motif after Hedwig is killed), but since it's literally the last 2 movies, it's too little too late. Though I will say his theme for the Order of the Phoenix in "Polyjuice Potion" is an ear worm for me. 

 

Yates is used to the generic style set up by Hooper in HBP, and so while Desplat is trying to bring the musical style back in a lot of areas of his scores, it always feels like he's stopped by a bad director (the worst example being the Pirates 2 sounding music when Harry is taken to Malfoy Manor). 

 

DH2 has Lily's theme, Underworld, The Resurrection Stone, and Dragon Flight which are all great, but unfortunately not much else stands out. At that point, it's Yates' generic-Os all the way down. 

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I'll be unoriginal and say Azkaban, although it is a bit of shame that so much of the thematic material from the first couple of movies was jettisoned for this one. However, JW did a masterful score in a different direction, which works well given that it's the first of the movies directed by someone new and so the movie itself was quite different in style. I don't dislike the Hooper scores nearly as much as everyone here it seems. Sure they are quite lightweight, but some of his melodic material is quite enjoyable but he was certainly quite a strange choice for such a major franchise. I have never warmed to either of the Desplat scores. They just seem so dark and grungy. I can barely remember a thing about them despite ample listens. I also quite enjoyed Imogen Heap's music for the stage show. Which surprised me as I know nothing of her work, but was fully prepared for it to be totally different to the movie scores; indeed its style has much in common with contemporary theatre (not necessarily new plays, but contemporary performances of older ones too) so it didn't really surprise me at how it sounded, but I can imagine how it's not for everyone.

 

I'm keen to try the video game scores, especially the James Hannigan ones, although my recollection is that they are for sale but aren't called Harry Potter (for some unfathomable reason).

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6 hours ago, Bounty95 said:

1. Chamber of Secrets (yes, it has everything the first one has, but it fleshes the ideas out and makes them better) 

2. Prisoner of Azkaban 

3. Philosopher's Stone 

4. Goblet of Fire (by far the best of the non-Williams scores) 

----------------------------------

5. Deathly Hallows 2

6. Order of the Phoenix (I like the themes, but the score doesn't feel big enough 

7. Deathly Hallows 1

8. Half-Blood Prince (Dumbledore's Farewell is great but the rest is meh) 

I'll grab CoS for just one thing: Quidditch, Second Year

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Yeah, the quidditch music from Chamber is excellent, even the part that copies Attack of the Clones, which is way better in HP than in SW.

 

In think the three quidditch tracks are probably the best action music in the franchise. 

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Best is Azkaban, which is a creative firework almost unseen in JWs carreer which still blows me away. Its biggest feat is capturing the Potter atmosphere so perfectly while having a completely different approach as the first two films. The new medieval atmosphere is perfect for Potter as well as the equally perfect warm and magical first two scores.

 

Worst is DH Part 1, which is just a boring and dissapointing affair, which also further destroyed the thematic continuity of the scores.

 

PS: GoF to me still is a great score to listen to apart from Harry Potter and the film (which is why i have chosen DH1 as worst), but in terms of a Potter film it is a horrible and totally unsuitable score. It completely fails in terms of atmosphere and magic. I have rarely heard a score so plain wrong for its type of film...

 

This is where Hoopers scores got the upper hand even though they have all kinds of technical shortcomings. They are just nuch better in capturing the Potter atmosphere compared to DH1 and GoF. 

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1.  Prisoner of Azkaban

2. Philosopher’s Stone

3. Chamber of Secrets

4. Half-Blood Prince

5. Order of the Phoenix

6. Deathly Hallows Part 2

7. Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them

8. Deathly Hallows Part 1

9. Goblet of Fire

10. Crimes of Grindlewald 

 

I just find out that the scores were ranking in the same order of my favourites Potter movies.

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There's a lot of charm in Order of the Phoenix and it's always unfavorably compared to the efforts of the last two composers, which is somewhat unfair. My appreciation for Hooper's scores has grown over the years.

 

Doyle's score is sublime - it's big from start to finish which I think reflects the drama of the Tournament and the feel of that film so well. I'd love an expansion of that score!

 

Desplat's scores sort of continue from where Hooper left. They both have their moments but feel somewhat diminished in size and impact for the final chapters of a film series. There's some tonal clashes here and there where they track in re-recorded Williams' themes that stick out instead of blend in comfortably.

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1. Prisoner of Azkaban - everything mentioned beforehand already, great themes and texture-like pieces, unique sound. One of Williams' best.

2. Philosopher's Stone, well, "Hedwigs Theme", "Nimbus 2000", "Leaving Hogwarts".. not much to say.

 

3. Deathly Hallows Part I - fits perfectly to the somber mood of the movie. Tracks like "Godrics Hollow Graveyard", "At the Burrow", or "Hermiones Parents" give me chills every time. The sordino strings sound amazing.

4. Chamber of Secrets - feels more like a Philosopher's Stone, Part 2 and always had a hard time appreciating it on its own. Love "Fawkes heals Harry (alternate)", "The Chamber of Secrets" and "Transformation Class (alternate segment)"

 

5. Deathly Hallows Part II -  "The Resurrection Stone" or "Harry Surrenders" are great. Like the movie, could've needed a bit more distinctivness, guess the director wanted the last one to be more of the generic epic finale film. Tracks like "Courtyard Apocalypse" on the other hand sound extremely uninspired and don't do much for me.

6. Goblet of Fire has some interesting moments, nice orchestration and adding some fresh ideas as well. I still consider it as a fairly good score. It can be quite theatrical and bombastic, but considering the theme of the movie is a huge, exciting tournament, I find it very fitting.

.

. (...with lots of space...)

.

7. & 8. Order of the Phoenix & Half Blood Prince - well, I don't like Hoopers style at all and the extremely silly and "childish" ideas/writing (Umbridge Theme f.ex.). HBP is just a total trash movie and unfortunatly not anything like the book, which is much more mature and more focused on Dumbledore&Harry and not so much about silly romances. Should've brought Doyle back, or Desplat in, for these.

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6 hours ago, Arpy said:

Doyle's score is sublime - it's big from start to finish which I think reflects the drama of the Tournament and the feel of that film so well. I'd love an expansion of that.

Doyle's suffers a lot from the fact that it had to accompany the worst film in the series. 

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1 hour ago, MaxTheHouseelf said:

 Fawkes heals Harry (alternate)

 

What's the difference between this track and the version in the main program? Is it just a different take or are there different editing points? 

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1 minute ago, Bilbo said:

Order of the Phoenix and Half-Blood Prince say hi!

Yes. If Half-Blood Prince would have been a better book, then maybe I would consider this as the worst film of the series.

But for me it is Goblet of Fire. But I don't want to argue on that.

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31 minutes ago, Bounty95 said:

 

What's the difference between this track and the version in the main program? Is it just a different take or are there different editing points? 

I think it's a different take. The alternate sounds just a little bit more exciting and expressive overall, especially the celli starting at 0:32 and towards the end.

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On 2/14/2021 at 2:11 PM, Bounty95 said:

 

What's the difference between this track and the version in the main program? Is it just a different take or are there different editing points? 

 

They put a different take on the OST album than was used in the film.  That's all.  Nothing compositionally different.

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