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Comments about the soundtrack for Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (Patrick Doyle)

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Symphonic magic
• Posted by: Vincent   <Send E-Mail>
• Date: Thursday, July 2, 2015, at 10:17 a.m.
• IP Address:

It's true that Williams wrote an extensive amount of Harry Potter suites, but sadly I can only think of two for Azkaban.

Did Doyle compose a Beauxbatons and Durmstrang theme? I only remember the Durmstrang/Bulgarian Quidditch team.

As I recall, John Williams did compose some themes for Harry and his family. It's very intersting that you mention Harry's theme, though, because I had always regarded is as a love theme which is just used throughout the score. The Voldemort and Harry theme are sort of connected in Voldemort.

I found the Yule Ball material very, very overwhelming. Especially the alternate Potter Waltz, which went unused, is one of my favourite cues of this score, and the music that plays when Hermione descends the stairs is magnificent. Also, do those cues even have to be magnificent, even though I think some of them are?

'Lullaby' might be a somewhat wrong term because the song essentially makes the champaions search more frantically. The Yule Ball source songs are indeed a waste of space, especially the first two.

Regarding continuity, I have to disagree. The themes for films 1 and 2 were indeed firmly established, but Azkaban was a completely different score. I think any Williams theme would always sound forced in another person's score, but that might just be because we know which material was composed by whom. However, Voldemort's theme could indeed have been re-used and mixed with Doyle's own theme. But: would the family theme and the Hogwarts theme have worked at all in this score? I don't think so. As for Quidditch, I think Williams's theme would have been a little awkward in the World Cup scene because it was originally written for children playing the game. It sounds a little too optimistic and childish for me to function in the World Cup scenes. Also, seeing as Dumbledore was rightly replaced in film three, I think new themes haveto be given a chance. After all, the stories change and grow darker, so the music has to follow suit. Williams's 'oh my God, it's magic!' approach has to be discarded at some point. If Doyle's themes are less memorable, how do they have superior characteristics? Hogwarts Hymn was memorable enough for me, and again, Azkaban did away with most of the memorable themes anyway, though Pettigrew's theme could indeed have been re-used, while Window to the Past or Double Trouble wouldn't have made sense anywhere.

In which sections of the film is Doyle's material undermixed?

Having said all of this, for me Goblet of Fire will always remain my favourite of the series and my favourite film score in general. This score introduced me to Doyle as a child and made me appreciate film music. I went back to the theatre five times to simply enjoy the amazing music. It's magical, emotional, scary and at times incredibly complex. Yes, it could have been a touch better with a few Williams themes here and there, but as the review mentions, think Williams away and the music is simply dazzling. Not one second is boring, too soft, uneventful or loud, and I think Patrick Doyle deserves a proper complete release in 5.1 surround sound so that we can all scare the neighbours with Golden Egg. Unlike Hooper, Doyle really took his time and made an effort to introduce himself and his musical voice to millions of people. Some themes are even an improvement: Moaning Myrtle is at last musically properly represented, Harry's (love) theme contains more melancholy than Williams's theme which only turned sad at the very end but did so very effectively at the end of Checkmate. All in all, I can't praise Doyle enough for this masterpiece: it's as if an orchestra had really been enchanted.

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