And so it all ends here. After seven CDs of Harry Potter music, it all culminates in this album containing 68 generous minutes of music conjured by composer Alexandre Desplat. The Oscar nominated French (The King’s Speech, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button) is back to create a world of magic and wizardry after scoring the first part of the final installment of this successful franchise.
Here, Desplat brings things to a whole new level as the atmosphere grows darker than ever. The main themes created for this episode are not easily identifiable, but they grow on you upon repeated listens. Fans of John Williams’ signature “Hedwig’s Theme” will be glad to know that there are hints of the beloved tune in Desplat’s compositions.
Obligatory action cues are first heard in “The Tunnel” and “Dragon Flight”, where you are brought on a high octane journey where fast riding music sweeps you off your feet. “A New Headmaster” and “Panic Inside Hogswarts” provide warning signs that things are not going to be wholesome and happy this time round. The use of foreboding strings and brasses are Desplat’s way of telling the ominous tale.
The standout track “Statues” features a steadfast theme which invokes a sense of awe. This theme is given a darker treatment in “Courtyard Apocalypse”, where you can imagine the demise and disaster brought about by the battle between good and evil. The six minute “Severus and Lily” is a hauntingly beautiful cue which showcases the composer’s talent to infuse several elements into one coherent track. There are also cues like “Lily’s Theme”, “Snape’s Demise” and “The Resurrection Stone” which feature solo vocalist Mai Fujisawa’s evocative voice.
With Desplat ending the game with this album, it is nice to look back at the works of other composers who have worked on this worldwide phenomenon. Be it Williams’ well loved themes, Patrick Doyle’s buoyant compositions or Nicholas Hooper’s energetic contributions, it is only apt to see this entire collection of music as a whole, and recognise the brilliant touches each of these composers have added to the films.
Recommended Track: (9) Statues
Review by John Li