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 Posted:   Aug 4, 2019 - 3:27 PM   
 By:   Paul MacLean   (Member)

Taking a (pardon the pun) cue from the Dracula / Fury thread, which of these Harry Potter score do you prefer?

I honestly have trouble making up my mind.

Sorcerer's Stone is much more of an "Amblin'" type of score, recalling things like E.T. and Hook (and to some extent Indiana Jones) -- with that same "childlike innocence" and "sense of wonder".

Prisoner of Azkaban is certainly more strident and hard-edged. It has moments of beauty and wonder, but they are melancholic, as opposed to the more nostalgic tone of Sorcerer's Stone. Azkaban also wins points from me for its eclecticism, its style spanning musical techniques of Renaissance, Romantic, jazz and 20th century Avant-garde.

Basically I'd say Sorcerer's Stone is the more "accessible" score, but Prisoner of Azkaban the more "impressive" score.

What say you?


Oh, and please no "Neither, I prefer Doyle / Hooper / Desplat" responses. Thanks.

 
 
 Posted:   Aug 5, 2019 - 1:13 AM   
 By:   Thor   (Member)

No contest. AZKABAN all the way -- Williams' last score in his "old style", if you could put it that way.

 
 
 Posted:   Aug 5, 2019 - 2:30 AM   
 By:   Kev McGann   (Member)

It's AZKABAN for me too.
Just a much more interesting score on all counts.
Harry Potter 1 is actually my LEAST favourite Potter score by Williams, despite it introducing the now iconic themes the way it did.
It feels quite bitty and disparate, lacking the cohesion that his subsequent scores achieved.
I enjoy Chamber Of Secrets much more than HP1. The Fawkes the Phoenix and Dobbie themes are brilliant.
I feel each score improved with every new step, culminating in the stunning, almost Jane Eyre-esque HP3 score.

 
 
 Posted:   Aug 5, 2019 - 3:35 AM   
 By:   fmfan1   (Member)

If you would have asked a month ago, I would have quickly said AZKABAN, if only for the Buckbeak music. After a "deep dive" into the magnificent La-La-Land set, I'm not so sure.

There is a thrilling amount of thematic material in SORCERER, and not just the "main themes": Multiple musical ideas for the arrival and introduction to Hogwarts, multiple musical ideas for the Christmas season, multiple musical ideas for Voldemort...Most composers would be proud to have just a single one of these moments on their audition tape. Unlike HOOK, where Williams probably brought too many great ideas to a production that might not have deserved them, SORCERER is able to soak up Williams' contribution into a cohesive whole that perfectly establishes the sound of the Potter universe.

On the other hand, AZKABAN's score, as with the film, had been my "favorite" for years. There are more "serious" and "darker" elements which add to the viewer's emotional involvement in the series, and it is certainly no slouch on thematic material. There is also a fair amount of humor in the score.

Let's see if I can justify an actual choice, though. First, I have put 10 tracks from SORCERER on my "Best of Potter" playlist and 9 tracks from AZKABAN. Second, and more important, while I could conceive of another composer taking a shot at AZKABAN (e.g., What if Doyle had been brought on earlier?), I could not contemplate SORCERER having a different score.

Therefore, I'll go with SORCERER.

 
 
 Posted:   Aug 5, 2019 - 7:13 AM   
 By:   scottweberpdx   (Member)

Azkeban for me...along with Goblet of Fire, the two Potter scores I listen to most.

 
 Posted:   Aug 5, 2019 - 10:12 AM   
 By:   JeffM   (Member)

It depends on my mood. Both are excellent.

 
 
 Posted:   Aug 5, 2019 - 12:29 PM   
 By:   bondo321   (Member)

CHAMBER OF SECRETS is my go-to Williams Potter score. Love the new themes!

 
 
 Posted:   Aug 5, 2019 - 12:52 PM   
 By:   jenkwombat   (Member)

Prisoner of Azkaban, by just a hair, for the reasons Thor described.

 
 
 Posted:   Aug 5, 2019 - 7:01 PM   
 By:   henry   (Member)

Prisoner of Azkaban, by just a hair, for the reasons Thor described.

Hi buddy! How is your Wiliams collection? Do you have them all? I just need the HARRY POTTER set.

 
 
 Posted:   Aug 5, 2019 - 7:52 PM   
 By:   jenkwombat   (Member)

Prisoner of Azkaban, by just a hair, for the reasons Thor described.

Hi buddy! How is your Wiliams collection? Do you have them all? I just need the HARRY POTTER set.


Hi henry. If memory serves, I just need "M Squad", "Amazing Stories" and "Valley of the Dolls", then my Williams collection will be complete. They're hard to find, but I'll continue looking. smile

 
 Posted:   Aug 6, 2019 - 3:58 AM   
 By:   Josh "Swashbuckler" Gizelt   (Member)

I liked the album for Philosopher's/Sorcerer's Stone, and really love the expanded score presentation. I do feel the film itself is a bit overscored, and that a little more restraint would have made the music a bit more effective. That said, the themes and their variations are fantastic, although kind of what I expected from the score before hearing it — Hook meets The Witches of Eastwick, although I felt there was also a bit of Superman in there in terms of the scoring to picture.

However, I feel that Prisoner of Azkaban is on a different level, not necessarily compositionally, but in terms of maturity. While I was initially a bit surprised when listening to the CD back in 2004 that, aside from Hedwig's theme, there weren't any recurring themes from the first two films (yeah, there is the snatch of Nimbus 2000 at the end, but that's fleeting), but it made perfect sense once I saw the film.

But that's just the thing, how often are you really surprised by the sound of a sequel score? The use of medieval instruments, the more twisted sense of humor, and the scarier horror scoring gives PoA a very different feel from it predecessors. Like the film itself, it was a refashioning of the franchise — Williams' eschewing of his own established themes makes the series transition to other composers a bit smoother than it might have been otherwise as well.

P/SS has longer, more developed passages, while PoA gets a lot of mileage out of shorter, more mischievous sequences. This means that I think it is a lot easier to listen to the complete score for P/SS than for PoA, although the expansion for the latter is much more of an improvement over the original album than that for P/SS.


TL;DR: They're both great, I think PoA is slightly more sophisticated.

 
 Posted:   Aug 6, 2019 - 5:53 AM   
 By:   tyuan   (Member)

Prisoner wins for me. Almost a masterpiece.

 
 
 Posted:   Aug 6, 2019 - 8:23 AM   
 By:   Paul MacLean   (Member)

I actually found Azkaban -- both the film and the score -- disappointing initially. I missed the familiar themes from Sorcerer's Stone, and felt the film was missing much of the charm of the first movie.

Having watched Azkaban again a few months ago, I have a new appreciation for it, and actually enjoyed it more than the first film. The expansion of Williams' score (bless you, Michael Matessino and LaLa Land) was also a revelation.

I don't care for Williams' original Azkaban album, which excludes wonderful cues like "The Three Broomsticks", "A Winter's Spell" and "Lupin's Departure" yet whose final track repeats a good ten minutes of minutes of music heard earlier on the CD.

 
 
 Posted:   Aug 7, 2019 - 12:31 PM   
 By:   henry   (Member)

Prisoner of Azkaban, by just a hair, for the reasons Thor described.

Hi buddy! How is your Wiliams collection? Do you have them all? I just need the HARRY POTTER set.


Hi henry. If memory serves, I just need "M Squad", "Amazing Stories" and "Valley of the Dolls", then my Williams collection will be complete. They're hard to find, but I'll continue looking. smile


I didn't know about M SQUAD, I ordered it, thanks for bringing it to my attention! I hope you can complete your Williams collection for a good price my friend.smile

 
 
 Posted:   Aug 7, 2019 - 1:38 PM   
 By:   governor   (Member)

Sorcerer's stone is overrated. Azkaban has its moments.
Best Williams score for the (entire) series is Chamber of Secrets.

 
 Posted:   Aug 7, 2019 - 9:08 PM   
 By:   Elmo Bernstein   (Member)


Best Williams score for the (entire) series is Chamber of Secrets.


But a good chunk of that score is reused cues from The Sorcerer's Stone.

And how many of the new cues are actually by John Williams? No one seems to know (or care).

 
 
 Posted:   Aug 12, 2019 - 8:47 AM   
 By:   henry   (Member)

I just received a brand new copy of HARRY POTTER: THE JOHN WILLIAMS SOUNDTRACK COLLECTION! It was a little pricey, but I got it. Now my John Williams collection is complete. I'm going to listen to it now.

 
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