The Complete Harry Potter Film Music Collection

Composed By: John Williams, Patrick Doyle, Nicholas Hooper, and Alexandre Desplat

Performed By: The City of Prague Philharmonic Orchestra

Distributed by:
Silva Screen Records

Reviewed by Melissa Minners


            The music of the Harry Potter films has always seemed to stand out for me.  I find myself humming bars from each movie I watch long after I’ve finished watching it.  Now that the eighth and final movie has been released on DVD, Silva Screen Records has released a two CD set featuring music from all eight of the films entitled The Complete Harry Potter Film Music Collection.

            Featuring 34 tracks of music composed by John Williams, Patrick Doyle, Nicholas Hooper and Alexandre Desplat performed by The City of Prague Philharmonic Orchestra, The Complete Harry Potter Film Music Collection is a Harry Potter film music fan’s dream.  The first CD is my favorite and features music from the first three films – Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets and Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban – composed by John Williams.  The first three films of the series, although containing some dark content, are not as dark as the rest of the films and the musical score was a great deal lighter and more fun.  The most recognizable track, and my personal favorite, is Hedwig’s Theme, which makes its way in bits and pieces throughout the musical score of most of the films.  The theme is light and airy and you can almost imagine yourself in flight over the streets of England and again over Hogwarts, seeing through Harry’s owl's eyes.

            The rest of the CD contains quite a few enjoyable tracks like Nimbus 2000, in which Harry learns how to fly a broom; Christmas in Hogwarts which combines the sounds of Christmas – bells and the like – with a somewhat somber tone as we realize Harry has nowhere to go for his first Christmas at Hogwarts; The Chamber of Secrets, complete with a hissing, swishing sound which allows us to imagine the basilisk moving throughout the chambers and remember the hissing sound of postle tongue; the mischievous sound of Cakes for Crabbe and Goyle and the fun Double Trouble in which youthful witches and warlocks sing as they work their magic.

            The second CD features music from the rest of the films, composed by Patrick Doyle, Nicholas Hooper and Alexandre Desplat.  Things start off with a Celtic kick as we celebrate the Quidditch World Cup/Foreign Visitors Arrive.  But things get dark relatively quickly as Voldemort begins to make his presence felt more and more, eventually creating a full on war within the wizarding world.  Things become darker and more intense until we reach the beautiful, but somewhat somber Lily’s Theme, the theme of Harry Potter’s beloved and long-dead mother who sacrificed herself so Harry could live.

            As a Harry Potter fan, I absolutely loved this soundtrack set.  The City of Prague Philharmonic Orchestra stays very close to the original music composed for the films and a real fan can actually picture each scene the music was created for.  The Complete Harry Potter Film Music Collection is a must have for any fan of the Harry Potter films!


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