City of Prague Philharmonic Orchestra

The Essential Harry Potter Film Music Collection

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This is not the first album Silva Screen Records has devoted to music from the Harry Potter film series, and it probably won't be the last. The label, which employs the City of Prague Philharmonic Orchestra to re-record film scores and then recycles the results on various compilations, has already chronicled the boy wizard on, for example, the 2006 album Music from the Harry Potter Films, all of which seems to be contained again here, along with additional material, notably compositions by Nicholas Hooper from Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, which opened in July 2007. As of the November 12, 2007, release date of this album, the last two Harry Potter novels, -Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince and -Harry Potter and the Deathly Hollows, had been published but not yet filmed, so this must be considered another interim assemblage of the music from the series. It includes the typically adventurous and appropriate scoring provided by John Williams for Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone (or Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone, as it was known in the U.S.), Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, and Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, as well as Patrick Doyle's inevitably derivative music from Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. Newly recorded are the five cues from Hooper's Phoenix score, which again are reminiscent of what has gone before, if a bit more melodramatic in places (the first part of "Sirius Deception/Dumbledore's Army"), in keeping with the increasingly dark tone of the series. Purists will, of course, prefer the actual original soundtrack albums, but this album provides a good summary of the music of the first five Harry films, with more to go. ~ William Ruhlmann, Rovi