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Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 2
(2011)
Composed, Conducted, and Co-Produced by:
Alexandre Desplat

Co-Orchestrated and Co-Produced by:
Conrad Pope

Co-Orchestrated by:
Clifford Tasner
Jean-Pascal Beintus
Bill Newlin

Co-Produced by:
Peter Cobbin
Gerard McCann

Performed by:
The London Symphony Orchestra

London Voices

Solo Vocals by:
Mai Fujisawa

Label:
WaterTower Music

Release Date:
July 12th, 2011

Also See:
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 1
Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone
Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets
Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince
Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix
Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban

Audio Clips:
5. Dragon Flight (0:29):
WMA (193K)  MP3 (239K)
Real Audio (168K)

9. Statues (0:29):
WMA (193K)  MP3 (239K)
Real Audio (168K)

14. Broomsticks and Fire (0:31):
WMA (204K)  MP3 (254K)
Real Audio (179K)

23. Showdown (0:32):
WMA (211K)  MP3 (269K)
Real Audio (189K)

Availability:
Regular U.S. release.

Awards:
  Nominated for a Grammy Award.









Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 2
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Buy it... if you seek two satisfying developments in this final franchise score: the wholesale return of previous thematic identities and a narrative arc and general tone from Alexandre Desplat that finally achieves a level of epic majesty not heard from the composer before.

Avoid it... if somewhat lazy adaptations of themes by John Williams and Nicholas Hooper that don't integrate well with Desplat's original material defy all of the otherwise well-meaning efforts by the composer to bring the franchise to a satisfying close.



Desplat
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 2: (Alexandre Desplat) After ten years and billions of dollars, the franchise of "Harry Potter" films finally concludes in 2011 with Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 2. Produced in conjunction with the adaptation of the first half of J. K. Rowling's final book, the cinematic climax of the concept returns most of the characters from throughout the history of the "Harry Potter" universe for a decisive battle of magic at Hogwarts castle. As the trio of Harry Potter, Ron Weasley, and Hermione Granger seek out and destroy the final vestiges of Lord Voldemort, the school itself becomes a battleground with the future of the magical world on the line. Reception to Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 2 has eclipsed that of the previous films, both critically and popularly. Almost universal praise from reviewers matches the enthusiasm of fans who shattered several box office records in the process of rewarding the film with upwards of a billion dollars in grosses within its first two weeks of release. It's satisfying to see the most prolific franchise of the 2000's end on such a high note, director David Yates deserving accolades for his pacing, loyalty to characters, and balance of emotional drama and dazzling special effects. For several years, composer John Williams had made it known that he would be interested in returning to the franchise for its final entry. Williams' scores for the first three films gained two Oscar nominations and introduced the franchise's most iconic thematic identities. Due to scheduling conflicts, however, the maestro was unable to accept a part in the production of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 2, and thus the logical choice was to retain French composer Alexandre Desplat to continue the musical direction he had set in the previous film. Despite concerns from skeptical fans about Desplat's intentions with the franchise, he has revealed himself to be an enormous enthusiast of Williams' original soundtracks for the "Harry Potter" movies, eagerly purchasing them on album for his own collection when they debuted. He has repeatedly referred to Williams as a "genius" and has praised the composer's themes from Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone for their intricacy and intangible sense of magic.

Desplat initially indicated before finishing Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 1 that he wanted to make the famous Hedwig's Theme by Williams, the primary, two-part identity of the franchise, a frequent contributor to his sequel work. He has since admitted that the subject matter of that film did not allow him to fully adapt that material as he would have liked. With the story returning to Hogwarts in the final film, however, he has made Williams' music a frequent part of the narrative. The challenge that this attention to adaptation presents is in the cohesive flow of new material offered by Desplat to the franchise. Clearly, the composer's stylistic stamp was all over Deathly Hallows, Part 1, to the great joy of his collectors. His knack for writing complex rhythmic lines of action and layering them to form interesting textures is the primary reason for his quick rise to popularity in the late 2000's. But the development and maintenance of a solid musical narrative is an aspect lacking in Deathly Hallows, Part 1, its impressive individual pieces collectively forming a somewhat aimless arc when viewed in sum. For Deathly Hallows, Part 2, he admits to being more comfortable with the concept (and his crew), and his music makes an intriguing switch, losing some of the symphonic intricacies in an effort to bolster the thematic integrity of the final chapter. There are still moments of outstanding Desplat complexity in the writing of some of the action material, but expect to hear less of the composer's usual mannerisms. The pulsating synthetic bass effect is completely gone, for instance, and whereas he often tends to use rhythmic woodwind patterns in the place of percussion, he emphasizes brute force from the drum section this time. Additionally, the international flavor in his orchestral palate from the prior film is toned back and replaced with more conventional choral muscularity. On the other hand, the nebulous thematic core of Deathly Hallows, Part 1 is a problem rectified to a large degree in Desplat's second entry. He writes one new dominant character theme and a powerful secondary idea, weaving them into most of his already existing motifs in ways that should satisfy most listeners. The application of Williams' two parts of Hedwig's Theme into several scenes serves to solidify the thematic narrative even further, regardless of the sometimes awkward insertions of that material into the final edit.

Reviewing the score for Deathly Hallows, Part 2 is an unusual challenge because of an immensely insufficient presentation of the soundtrack on the WaterTower/Warner commercial album that accompanied the debut of the movie. That product, while containing excerpts of John Williams' themes in seven of its tracks, is missing all of the most major statements of that material as heard in the film, as well as the surprising but delightful inclusion of Nicholas Hooper's music, too. Leaked cue sheet information for Deathly Hallows, Part 2 suggests that these full statements of Williams and Hooper material were likely recorded after the fact (the latter's perhaps simply tracked in its original form). As such, the 68-minute album for this soundtrack is essentially a presentation of Desplat's own material. With this in mind, any review of the album alone would woefully misrepresent the soundtrack as a whole, and the commentary that follows is therefore based upon the score as heard in the film (with references to the album along the way). The album's cues are mostly chronological, with the exception of "Gringotts" and early portions of "Snape's Demise," and it seems possible that passages of Desplat's material were tracked for multiple placements. The movie opens with Desplat's primary thematic representation for it. Almost alone in the mix for 90 seconds is "Lily's Theme," a lovely Celtic-flavored theme performed first by gorgeous solo female vocals and then somber string layers. While it would have been nice to hear some kind of reference to Williams' main theme during the stark revelation of the title, Desplat's new theme appropriately sets a mood of despair for the equally depressing images on screen. A series of cues missing from the original album follows, starting with a celesta statement of the "A" phrase of Hedwig's Theme (a common usage in this film) before reprising the rhythmic base of "Obliviate" in the conversational scene involving Griphook the Goblin (the cue sheet list refers to this as "Goblin by the Sea"). In the subsequent conversation in "Olivander," Desplat appropriately references his "The Deathly Hallows" theme from Deathly Hallows, Part 1 before toning back the ambience for generic suspense purposes in "Outside Gringotts." The "Gringotts" cue follows in the film despite being placed three tracks later on the album. Given that the suspense of that location is often accompanied by only the sounds of the Goblins shuffling their papers, it's no surprise that this cue is very understated, with activity centered around solitary a string note on key.

The action in Deathly Hallows, Part 2 picks up with the subsequent tunnel, vault, chase, and flight sequences. While there has been some fan dismay about the lack of identical statements of the Death Eater/villain theme from "Snape to Malfoy Manor" in the previous film, Desplat does utilize a variation of it in "The Tunnel." Likewise, the agitated string ostinato from "Obliviate" returns in "Underworld," and Desplat clarifies the application of his Horcrux theme from Deathly Hallows, Part 1 ("Dobby" and "The Locket") as the lead wizards enter the vault to seek the cup they must destroy (heard at 2:10 on the album's track). The flurry of activity in the second half of "Underworld," as the vault becomes a cramped place to be, is very reminiscent of Williams' style. Another statement of the aforementioned villain's theme closes out the cue with a reference on brass. The memorable "Dragon Flight" follows, though the cue was condensed and rearranged for its album presentation. In the midst of impressive action motifs, the Hedwig "A" phrase at 0:50 reminds of the adventure of yesteryear before Lily's theme is afforded its fullest symphonic performances of the score. While this cue is extremely enjoyable, Desplat's choice of that theme for this circumstance doesn't entirely make sense, and instead of the Hedwig Theme, it would have been nice to hear a quick flourish of Williams' flying theme (or hints of the resounding Buckbeak theme) in that circumstance. At the very least, however, it reaffirms Lily's theme as the main identity of this picture. The Hogsmeade sequence leading up to and including the scene with Dumbledore's brother is provided a general tone of ambient suspense; the cue sheet list indicates that perhaps a reference to Williams' Chamber of Secrets occurs here, but if so, it isn't readily apparent, and the cue is unreleased. A lighter tone breaks through the ominous atmosphere in "Neville," a troubled crescendo revealing the friend and allowing Desplat to repeat a statement of the noble children's theme from Deathly Hallows, Part 1. In this second Desplat score, the theme solidifies itself around Neville alone, frequently heard in his somewhat humorous but ultimately heroic scenes. Don't expect to hear the same music on the album's "Neville" track as what you noticed in the film; the two performances are similar but exist in separate keys. This disparity may be connected to the fact that the cue segues into a full statement of the Hedwig "B" theme (representing the castle and, for Williams, the franchise as a whole) for Potter's return to the castle and revelation to his loyal fellow students.

After several films in the franchise in which the Hedwig "B" theme has been sadly neglected, it's great to hear Desplat give it some much needed attention here and in two later scenes. In this initial performance, you hear both sections of that phrase with an enhanced, meandering bass line that suggests that it was inspired by Williams' darker variant of the idea in Chamber of Secrets. Some fans will find its application to this scene to be a bit too much of a "copy and paste" job, especially with the flurry of Williams-like activity immediately following it. The cue sheet list indicates a track called "Ginny" that may have accompanied her appearance (and interaction with Potter) in this same scene, though no music was eventually used here in the film. Also missing are parts of the subsequent "A New Headmaster," though the entirety is included on album. The preview of this score's other main theme (representing the castle's defense in "Statues") at the start of "A New Headmaster" was dialed out, as was a substantial portion of the cue's mid-section. The morbid Hedwig "A" phrase at 0:20 remains in the film, but its reprise at 2:10 into the track does not. As Potter is supported by Dumbledore's Army in front of a stunned Headmaster Snape in that scene, a brief preview of the castle defense theme is heard with hopeful resolve at 2:30. The dissonant crescendo at the end of that track accompanies Snape's retreat through a window, and whereas the album's track abruptly ends there, Desplat actually reprises the first half of the Hedwig "B" theme in similar fashion to the scene just prior. It celebrates Professor McGonagall's victory over Snape but its lingering Williams-inspired activity immediately dies as Potter comes under distress. The fact that this short sequence wasn't left attached to the "A New Headmaster" track on the album is extremely irritating. Unreleased as well is the following cue, "Voldemort's Influence," the piercing screams from the girls on screen accompanied by dissonant fright as the villain issues his ultimatum to the castle's inhabitants; this musical technique would be applied to the character's other "public address" sequences, too. As the students run around in terrified disarray during "Panic Inside Hogwarts," Desplat introduces his choral ensemble in massive broken chords that once again preview the castle defense theme at 0:50 into the album track. A tragic choral and trumpet conclusion to this performance segues directly into "Statues," arguably the highlight of the score. This cue represents the main performance of the castle defense theme, featured at the forefront of the mix as McGonagall stirs to life the massive warrior statues that stand ready to defend Hogwarts.

Undoubtedly, "Statues" is to Deathly Hallows, Part 2 what "Obliviate" was to Deathly Hallows, Part 1, an extended series of tonal rhythmic movements with resounding bass presence and a muscularity that will, ironically for Desplat and his fans, appeal to enthusiasts of the Hans Zimmer/Remote Control sound. The composer's use of drums in Deathly Hallows, Part 2 is very pronounced, represented best by this cue and those that reprise the same idea later. While a solo performance credit is extended to the timpani player in the album's packaging, the tone of the strikes sounds almost like that of Japanese taiko drums. The bass region is so pumped up in this sequence that it will shake the floors, though the drums and low string propulsion are accompanied well by colorful, struck metallic percussion and low and high choral shades to add texture. Some listeners will equate the expansive choral accompaniment in "Panic Inside Hogwarts" and "Statues" with the broad scope of Howard Shore's The Lord of the Rings trilogy. In "The Grey Lady," Desplat uses the string rhythms of "Obliviate" throughout the conversation between Potter and the ghost. Ripping percussive sequences in the middle (and at the end) of this track represent the actual commencement of battle around Hogwarts, with a particularly impressive drum and gong combination at 1:10 into the track. A slight statement of the castle's defense theme is reprised at 1:45. As Ron and Hermione retrieve a weapon during "In the Chamber of Secrets," a celesta performance of a Hedwig "A" fragment at 0:10 is joined by a longer brass rendition at 0:40 (nothing from Williams' second score specifically). After the Horcrux is destroyed, a distinctively Williams-like flurry of high range orchestral panic follows. Unfortunately, once again, a reference to a prior theme at the end of a cue is removed for the album. As the two leads embrace, Desplat revisits roughly 15 seconds of Hooper's sappy material from "The Kiss" in Order of the Phoenix. Also omitted from the album is the short dissonant cue during Voldemort's retaliatory destruction of the shield around the castle. From there, the "Battlefield" album track is heard, though the sequence at the start titled "Neville Runs" is different in the film. In both versions, though, a noble fragment of children's theme over swirling strings represents Neville's survival of the pyrotechnic defense. Not heard in the film is a partial Hedwig "A" reference at 0:50 into the track that almost has an original Batman-like vibe to its crescendo. Desplat then employs a new rising minor motif for the actual scenes of conflict, including impressively massive choral depth.

The sequence in the Room of Requirements during Deathly Hallows, Part 2 includes the cues "The Diadem" and "Broomsticks and Fire." The former opens with an elusive woodwind line that dances over typical Desplat swirls, switching between melodramatic minor and major key phrases to denote small victories. These culminate in the lovely fluttering crescendo in middle of the cue for the discovery of the Horcrux. On album, celesta fragments of the Hedwig "A" theme close out the cue after a massive dissonant sustain, though this reference was dialed out in the film. As Draco Malfoy and his accomplices trap everyone in the room within an inferno, Desplat lets rip with an outstanding action sequence with slapped percussion and deep choir at the outset of "Broomsticks and Fire." Accessible tonal phrases are interrupted by pitch wavering brass explosions reminiscent of Elliot Goldenthal's 1990's technique (and, ironically, Alan Silvestri's Volcano) before a sudden return to Desplat's Horcrux theme at 1:05 punctuates the moment the diadem is destroyed. The aftermath of that action is represented by a scene involving Voldemort, his snake, and Lucius Malfoy that states the rather non-descript music from the first minute of the album track "Snape's Demise." Thereafter, Desplat gives more generous treatment to the castle defense theme in "Courtyard Apocalypse," developing the deep drum and string rhythms from "Statues" in an even more grandiose, dire form with choral accompaniment in second minute. Like the prior major reference to this theme, most of "Courtyard Apocalypse" is presented at the forefront of the movie's sound mix. A fair amount of the album version of "Snape's Demise" is not heard at this point in the film, though the initial build-up and strike heard in the film is conversely absent from the album. The echoes of Lily' Theme are common to both, however, with the solo voice clarifying itself as the scene approaches its poignant end. The ambient music heard during Voldemort's retreat order is not on the album or indicated on the cue sheet listing, perhaps suggesting that it was tracked in from elsewhere. The unreleased aftermath cue "Triage" contains Lily's theme briefly on strings, conveyed in a stunned demeanor to acknowledge dead friends and professors. Arguably the most powerful sequence on screen in Deathly Hallows, Part 2 features flashback revelations of Snape's past and Potter's destiny via Dumbledore's Pensieve. The music during the long scene is particularly well spotted and the six minutes you hear on album plays in full during the series of revelations before yielding to familiar music from a previous film.

The beauty of "Severus and Lily" is in its fleeting introduction of a new love theme for Snape, introduced at 0:45 on flute and eventually passed through the orchestra. Piano and cello renditions culminate in an adagio-like conclusion for the motif. The punch comes at the end of the scene, however, as Desplat adapts much of "Dumbledore's Farewell" from Half-Blood Prince. Hooper's descending death theme represents the final revelation that Potter must die, playing through Snape's conjuring of a surprising Patronus and Potter's exit from the Pensieve. There is no evidence in the cue sheet list that Desplat re-recorded this Hooper material, and it is not included on the album, though it is more than likely a fresh adaptation given that all the other referential sequences were provided new recordings. For the conversational scene involving the three leads on the Hogwarts stairs, Desplat wrote "Harry's Sacrifice," a cue that was mostly dialed out in the film. With the entire middle sequence of the cue missing, you won't hear the references to "Obliviate" in context, a shame given that this instance offers the clearest development of the actual theme (and not just the underlying rhythms) in the entire score. The cue closes with slight harp and celesta fragments of Hedwig "A" phrases. The heartbreaking scene in which Potter seeks reassurance from his dead parents, Sirius Black, and Remus Lupin marks a return by Desplat to the franchise's original sense of magic through the use of rhythmic celesta figures at its start. Thereafter in "The Resurrection Stone," layers of high choral tones (seemingly a boys' choir) segue into Lily's theme, which dominates the rest of the cue with the opening title's solo vocal performances bracketing statements of the idea on strings and piano. The score's most cohesive statement of the "Obliviate" theme to actually be heard in the film happens in "Harry Surrenders," the full cue utilized in context and supplying ambient droning on either end of that theme to denote a feeling of tense finality. After Potter is supposedly executed, the movie features no music during the scene in which the boy consults with Dumbledore in limbo, only occasional ambient sound design (and perhaps some slight string effects in the first moments). The most impressive Desplat cue not heard on the album follows, as Potter plays dead and Narcissa Malfoy approaches to ask him in a whisper, "Draco. Is he alive?" The tremendous crescendo of suspense that Desplat creates in that cue (credited as "Harry is Dead" on the cue sheet list) is balanced by beautiful religious overtones in harmonious choral resolve. The drama at the resolution of that cue, as Malfoy turns to declare Potter dead, is remarkably palpable.

As Voldemort leads his supporters back to the courtyard of the castle, the "Procession" cue plays in full, lower choral treatment of Lily's theme and deep percussive thuds existing at the front of the film's sound mix. As the villain gloats, a solo brass echo of a Hedwig "A" fragment at 1:20 dies out and a long bass string sustain (cut off on the album) carries the rest of the confrontational dialogue. As Neville gives his speech and is derided by Voldemort, Desplat chooses not to utilize the character's dedicated theme and instead populates the first half of "Neville the Hero" with a slowly elevating, somewhat generic noble construct that reaches its pinnacle with a massive timpani roll at 1:15 to coincide with Neville's drawing of the magical sword out of the sorting hat. A new motif of heroic tones creates an optimistic theme for the remainder of the cue, heard in full on the album. Its end synchronizes with the comedic shot of the Malfoy family calmly departing the scene of battle. The "Showdown" cue was in part dialed out of the film; the movie omits the opening section and some of its middle sequence from the full album version. The somewhat general action material in the first minute is gone, though Neville's theme at 0:50 is where it is rejoined. Pounded rhythms feature interludes of Lily's theme, aided by an interpretation of Hedwig "A" as a forceful action motif at 2:35. The awkward sequence in which Potter and Voldemort embrace in bizarre, close combat in flight is afforded a final major statement of the castle defense theme from "Statues" at 2:55. That theme is resolved melodramatically at the end of the cue as the two characters crash land back in the courtyard. When they engage in a wand duel, Desplat opens with rhythmic progressions familiar to previous battle sequences, building to a crescendo for the first 45 seconds until Neville cuts off the head of the snake, at which point a sudden dropout to dissonance ensues. In the subsequent and final wand duel, Desplat turns strictly to Lily's theme, a closure performance of the idea starting at 1:15 into the cue expressing another crescendo of choral majesty that ends with a gong hit as Voldemort loses the match. In this film, Desplat has to be credited with writing a few of the most momentously epic singular moments of music in the franchise, this one a notable highlight. The solo vocal variation on Lily's Theme accompanies the villain's disintegration, and while there is some common sense to Desplat's application of this theme to the death scene, it's hard not to get a feeling that it could have been combined with something else from the franchise's musical history to better denote the moment. On album, the "Voldemort's End" track ends with an abnormally long moment of silence.

Closing out the album for Deathly Hallows, Part 2 is "A New Beginning," the music that follows an extended period of silence during Potter's walk through a devastated Hogwarts. Heard during the scene in which the three leads talk about the Elder Wand on the viaduct leading to the castle, the cue keenly reprises the castle defense theme in much lighter shades, a clear homage to the battle that had just taken place there. Desplat treats the theme with slight harp at the outset before transitioning to celesta with whimsical light string airiness as the epilogue title is presented. Although the album ends awkwardly there, the film takes a turn back to Williams' domain for its remaining music. For the scene nineteen years later at the train station, Desplat re-arranged the "Leaving Hogwarts" cue from Sorcerer's Stone to bring the franchise back to its roots. Interestingly, though, this epilogue in Deathly Hallows, Part 2 is roughly 3:30 in length (including a brief respite from activity in the middle as Potter's son worries about being sorted into Slytherin) whereas the original Williams cue was roughly 2:10 in duration. Due to that difference in scene length, Desplat wrote a middle sequence in the cue to apply one last full performance of the Hedwig "B" theme (both phrases) on solo trumpet in a tone of trepidation. That would explain, additionally, the two different recordings of "Leaving Hogwarts" credited in the cue sheet list (the "patch" likely being the Hedwig "B" section). It's unfortunate that Desplat didn't use the superior "Reunion of Friends" finale (the best of the franchise) from Chamber of Secrets instead. For the end credits, a variation on "Harry's Wondrous World" is explored by Desplat, a nice gesture but one that creates some dissatisfaction along the way. What happened to the days when composers like Williams could write unique concert suites of themes from their scores for the end credits sequences? Here, you get the same feeling that you had at the end of Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith (Williams himself has been guilty of this absence of new suites in his later years). For Deathly Hallows, Part 1, all you heard was a repeated sequence of some major cues as heard on album. In Deathly Hallows, Part 2, how difficult would it have been to open with Williams' original concert suite arrangement of "Hedwig's Theme," replace the flying theme portion in the middle with Lily's theme and the castle defense ("Statues") theme, and conclude with the monumental closing of that prior "Hedwig's Theme" concert arrangement? Certainly Desplat has the compositional capability of such proper treatment to the franchise, and the absence of any such conclusion leaves a sour taste in the mouth despite the composer's (and the filmmakers') intent on paying tribute to the Williams material in some way.

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One myth that can certainly be dispelled about Desplat's involvement in the "Harry Potter" franchise is the notion that he considered himself superior to the previous scores. Not only has he professed to being an enormous fan of Williams' work, but in Deathly Hallows, Part 2 he has adapted more themes from preceding scores in the series than either Patrick Doyle or Nicholas Hooper. The spotting of these existing themes is very satisfying in Deathly Hallows, Part 2, especially the unnecessary but surprisingly effective placements of ideas from both Hooper scores. Only Doyle's music from Goblet of Fire fails to make a cameo. On the other hand, some legitimate complaints could be made in regards to exactly how Desplat adapted these pre-existing themes into their new homes. It's great to hear the Hedwig "B" theme representing the castle and franchise in general three times, the first two in full symphonic glory. But unlike the Hedwig "A" phrase for magic in general, the "B" phrase isn't woven at all into the fabric of Desplat's original material. Its appearances, although re-recorded, sound tracked, especially in the sudden onset of the idea as Potter re-enters the castle. Given orchestrator Conrad Pope's involvement from the beginning with both Williams and Desplat, that's a somewhat surprising miss. Likewise, as mentioned in the paragraph above, the epilogue and end title sequences lack the kind of substantial integration with Desplat's material that would have been very much appreciated. All of that said, the original music by Desplat is extremely robust and carries thematic identities far more cohesive and memorable than in the composer's previous works. He may not have Williams' sense of theatrics, but he seemingly has simplified his articulate writing style to allow for moments of majesty and grandeur that have been absent in his career to this point. As such, Deathly Hallows, Part 2 is the strongest score of his career when not factoring the reprised material. The album is problematic in that it's missing Desplat's pivotal "Harry is Dead" cue and all of the major statements of Williams' and Hooper's music. The latter is perhaps not a detriment to film score collectors who can assemble that music, but definitely an irritant for casual buyers. The album features a very heavy bass mix, too, sometimes too dominant in the timpani and other low range pounding of rhythms. Overall, however, Desplat succeeds in living up to the high expectations for this assignment. There will always be second-guessing about thematic placements and rearrangements in a situation like this, and the album has some questionable edits and mixing and is clearly lacking the full narrative arc. But Desplat finally proves that his style can transcend his obvious technical mastery of an orchestra and reach levels of tonal majesty that can be summed up in a single word: epic.   Amazon.com Price Hunt: CD or Download

    Music as Written for the Film: *****
    Music as Written for the Franchise: ****
    Music as Presented on the Album: ***
    Overall: ****

Bias Check:For Alexandre Desplat reviews at Filmtracks, the average editorial rating is 3.29 (in 21 reviews)
and the average viewer rating is 3.08 (in 11,502 votes). The maximum rating is 5 stars.





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   Alternative review at movie-wave.net
  Southall -- 8/12/13 (3:13 a.m.)
   Re: Not just a 'story', Mr. Broxton!
  Dawson A -- 3/3/13 (8:07 p.m.)
   Hooper cue
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 Track Listings: Total Time: 68:09


• 1. Lily's Theme (2:28)
• 2. The Tunnel (1:09)
• 3. Underworld (5:24)
• 4. Gringotts (2:24)
• 5. Dragon Flight (1:43)
• 6. Neville (1:40)
• 7. A New Headmaster (3:25)
• 8. Panic Inside Hogwarts (1:53)
• 9. Statues (2:22)
• 10. The Grey Lady (5:51)
• 11. In the Chamber of Secrets (1:37)
• 12. Battlefield (2:13)
• 13. The Diadem (3:08)
• 14. Broomsticks and Fire (1:24)
• 15. Courtyard Apocalypse (2:00)
• 16. Snape's Demise (2:51)
• 17. Severus and Lily (6:08)
• 18. Harry's Sacrifice (1:57)
• 19. The Resurrection Stone (4:32)
• 20. Harry Surrenders (1:30)
• 21. Procession (2:07)
• 22. Neville the Hero (2:17)
• 23. Showdown (3:37)
• 24. Voldemort's End (2:44)
• 25. A New Beginning (1:39)




 Notes and Quotes:  


The insert includes a note from the director about the score and composer, as well as an insert card with information about downloading ringtones and other related products. The enhanced portion of the CD redirects to a Warner website where additional features can be accessed, including footage from the recording sessions and links to the score in 5.1 surround sound.





   
  All artwork and sound clips from Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 2 are Copyright © 2011, WaterTower Music. The reviews and other textual content contained on the filmtracks.com site may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without the prior written authority of Filmtracks Publications. Audio clips can be heard using RealPlayer but cannot be redistributed without the label's expressed written consent. Page created 7/24/11 (and not updated significantly since). Review Version 5.1 (PHP). Copyright © 2011-2013, Christian Clemmensen (Filmtracks Publications). All rights reserved. With all the screen time Warwick Davis gets in this picture, it's a shame that the script didn't allow someone to refer to him as a "peck."