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Williams' Wondrous World
• Posted by: Jouko Yli-Kiikka   <Send E-Mail>
• Date: Friday, July 24, 2009, at 2:37 a.m.
• IP Address:
• Now Playing: Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull

Harry Potter is an enormously successful franchise being favoured both the readers of the book series and the filmgoers all over the world. The Harry Potter movies have inspired some of the most beloved and, simultaneously, the most discussed original scores of recent time. While I personally consider the fourth score - Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire by Patrick Doyle - to be the best composition of the entire series, I must say that The Philosopher's Stone remains equally impressive score that successfully established the style and themes into the Potter universe. I've understand that for many Williams-fans the soundtrack was some kind of disappointment (expectations being sky high...) but for me Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone marks the very best maestro Williams has ever penned during his impressive career. This excels even his famous Star Wars -scores.

Some reviews have stated that in many ways The Philosopher's Stone sums up the styles and methods of John Williams. That fact has been seen as a negative thing by some but I find the score to be an ultimate mixture of all the best parts of Williams' earlier scores - notably his fantasy and adventure scores. There are multitude of different themes and smaller motifs as well as exciting action music and magical moments throughout the score. I personally consider "Hedwig's Theme" and "Harry's Wondrous World" to be two of the very best thematic structures of the album. While the first establishes the main thematic material of the franchise wonderfully and flighty way the latter introduces many smaller themes and motifs (for example the themes for the quidditch match and Harry himself) intertwined into one rousing cue. In contrast Williams introduces a menacing theme for the evil Voldemort fully revealed in track 17, "The Face of Voldemort". That particular cue is one of the best descriptive battle cues Williams - or any composer - have ever written; the themes of Harry and Voldemort battle to a climaxic end. Another motivic favourite of mine is cue 5 that introduces the Diagon Alley for us - there is something wonderfully "busy", "townish" and "market-like" in that cue.

The Philosopher's Stone definitely deserved the Academy Award nomination. This is an album full of rich, descriptive, thematic and colourful fantasy music that works well as an independent listening experience. Never before has Williams been as inspired nor capable to write excellent music than here! Every film music lover should have this album and cherish it.

An absolut classic!

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