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Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix
Album Cover Art
Composed and Produced by:
Nicholas Hooper

Conducted by:
Alastair King

Orchestrated by:
Geoff Alexander
Julian Kershaw
Bradely Miles
Simon Whiteside
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Warner Brothers Records
(July 10th, 2007)
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Regular U.S. release.
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   Availability | Viewer Ratings | Comments | Audio & Track Listings | Notes
Buy it... if you seek a distinctly fresh, instrumentally diverse, and surprisingly flightier approach to the Harry Potter franchise's music.

Avoid it... if you expect any significant continuity from the style and themes of John Williams' scores or the weighty orchestral power of Patrick Doyle's entry.
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WRITTEN 6/27/07
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Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix: (Nicholas Hooper) Franchises offer a maddening set of circumstances for both movie-goers and film music collectors, not to mention the crews that strive to meet their expectations. For film music fans specifically, the Harry Potter films took a beloved series of books and established their sound with the talents of none other than John Williams, the greatest composer of the past thirty years of cinema. For any follow-up composer, the task of meeting expectations in a situation like this has to be daunting. Exciting, but still daunting. After John Williams' Oscar nominated scores for the first and third films, bracketing an adaptation effort by William Ross for The Chamber of Secrets, Scottish composer Patrick Doyle provided a worthy effort for The Goblet of Fire in 2005. As predicted by most, Doyle was criticized for taking the sound of the series away from Williams' familiar tones (and the majority of his themes) and infusing the film with mostly a darker variant of his own compositional style. Fans of Williams' multitude of themes, as well as his overarching style for the franchise, often withheld their enthusiasm for Doyle's score, despite its own admirable traits. The same predicament faced Nicholas Hooper, whose name stirred up far more controversy when he was allowed by Warner Brothers to write the score for Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix in 2007. The franchise has been a revolving door for directors, and since Williams announced his departure from the series in 2004, the director of each particular film has been inclined, naturally, to hire his usual, personal collaborator to write the music for the films. For director David Yates, his partnership with Hooper would take some selling to Warner; Hooper's career (albeit BAFTA-winning) has never before included a Hollywood blockbuster size of project. Hooper and Yates collected pieces of his works, conjured some original ideas for The Order of the Phoenix specifically, and successfully convinced the studio that Hooper was up to the task. Some of those ideas would make the final cut in the recording of the score.

Hooper would be given the 90-member Chamber Orchestra of London to record at Abbey Road Studios, with an impressive collection of engineers, mixers, orchestrators, and conductor to assist him. The technical merits of this recording should be praised immediately; Hooper employs a far wider variety of softer instruments in his ensemble, often in conjunction with more powerful ones, and each participant in the score is crystal clear at every moment. As for the substance of the music itself, Hooper had little chance of satisfying all his inevitable listeners with this effort. Like Doyle's score before his, The Order of the Phoenix embodies the composer's own style of writing, offering only a few references to Williams' tones. But that distinct style of Williams' writing is for the most part lost in The Order of the Phoenix, not to mention that Hooper makes no discernable connections to Doyle's contribution at all. A disclaimer should be made at this point that the commercial album is only 53 minutes in length, and given that almost two hours of music was recorded for The Order of the Phoenix, there may be references to Williams and Doyle material hidden in less substantial cues not available on that album. For fans rightly concerned about the incorporation of previous themes in the franchise, the album will disappointingly contain only a hint of what has come before. Hooper and Yates made a concerted effort to adapt Williams' pivotal "Hedwig's Theme" into several key moments of the score, but no other ideas are directly retained. Williams' spectacular "B" variant on that theme (for Hogwarts... the bold fanfare on brass) is barely referenced in fragments. The outstanding themes by Williams for Quidditch and Voldemort are gone, and neither of Doyle's memorable themes from The Goblet of Fire is heard, including his gorgeous family theme. The wide variety of short motifs by Williams, often compiled into his concert suites from the first film's score, is not utilized. Perhaps most frustrating for fans of the three superior Williams scores is the fact that Hooper never actually provides a full statement of the Hedwig "A" or "B" themes. While plentiful in references, sometimes quite keenly adaptated in quiet or tense moments, these themes are typically mutilated considerably by Hooper.

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Average: 2.74 Stars
***** 290 5 Stars
**** 298 4 Stars
*** 475 3 Stars
** 489 2 Stars
* 450 1 Stars
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I just thought about the Half-Blood Prince soundtrack...   Expand >>
Itai - August 25, 2007, at 10:08 a.m.
3 comments  (5181 views)
Newest: April 26, 2009, at 10:02 p.m. by
Does anyone else think that...   Expand >>
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8 comments  (5113 views)
Newest: June 12, 2008, at 9:40 p.m. by
John Williams Themes   Expand >>
Stefancos - July 28, 2007, at 3:42 p.m.
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Newest: August 13, 2007, at 3:59 a.m. by

Track Listings Icon
Audio Samples   ▼
Total Time: 52:57
• 1. Fireworks (1:51)
• 2. Professor Umbridge (2:37)
• 3. Another Story (2:43)
• 4. Dementors in the Underpass (1:47)
• 5. Dumbledore's Army (2:44)
• 6. The Hall of Prophecies (4:29)
• 7. Possession (3:22)
• 8. The Room of Requirements (6:11)
• 9. The Kiss (1:58)
• 10. A Journey to Hogwarts (2:56)
• 11. The Sirius Deception (2:38)
• 12. The Death of Sirius (4:00)
• 13. Umbridge Spoils a Beautiful Morning (2:42)
• 14. Darkness Takes Over (3:00)
• 15. The Ministry of Magic (2:50)
• 16. The Sacking of Trelawney (2:17)
• 17. Flight of the Order of the Phoenix (1:36)
• 18. Loved Ones & Leaving (3:16)

Notes Icon
The insert includes notes from the director and composer. Warner Brothers' official site for the soundtrack features a widget that you can use to listen to the score:
Copyright © 2007-2021, Filmtracks Publications. All rights reserved.
The reviews and other textual content contained on the site may not be published, broadcast, rewritten
or redistributed without the prior written authority of Christian Clemmensen at Filmtracks Publications. All artwork and sound clips from Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix are Copyright © 2007, Warner Brothers Records and cannot be redistributed without the label's expressed written consent. Page created 6/27/07 (and not updated significantly since).
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