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Friday, October 14, 2016

Patrick Doyle -- Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack


My cousin Amber and I are contrarian jerks, and we mocked Harry Potter nerds for years until one day we saw this commercial.

We then had a clandestine meeting where we decided to go to see Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire in secret, perhaps while wearing fake glasses and mustaches (we settled for hoodies). The movie gave us everything the commercial promised and more, and we bought in to the series fully, reading all the books, watching the previous films, going to see the future films at midnight. That was a special time in life (on a double-nerd level, the edge of town cinema we stealthed off to played music from the Chrono Cross soundtrack before the movie started!), and this film has a special place in my heart.
Still, composer, Patrick Doyle, had the unfortunate task of following up longtime series composer, John Williams. No big deal or anything, just keep up the consistency and quality of the greatest film composer of all time.
Obviously, in comparison to the maestro's work, Doyle's soundtrack for this film at first underwhelmed me. Where was all of the sophisticated low-end work one expects from a John Williams soundtrack? Where was the mind-bending complexity of themes?
It turns out, once one gets their Williams-bias out of the way, its easy to realize that Doyle has done a pretty great job for this one Harry Potter film he scored. His music works very well within the film, and really only suffers during action scenes, where Williams cannot even be imitated, let alone matched. Doyle does a great job of evoking emotional movement, and has perhaps produced the most diverse of the Harry Potter soundtracks. In the midst of the more traditional orchestral film music, he works in a quick Irish jig, an Eastern European march, a bunch of gorgeous waltzes, a beautiful choral piece, an old-timey Fox-hunt-evoking English horn parade, and a beautiful instrumental hymn--not to mention a handful of apt new themes for heroes and villains alike.
Bonus: when Doyle's work is done, the soundtrack keeps on going, with three wizard rock songs performed by nearly half of Radiohead and a bunch of all-star British musicians. The songs are played during the film's Yule Ball, after the waltzing stops, and the kids get to party. "Do the Hippogriff" is a Billy Idol-esque rager, "This Is the Night" is a more atmospheric mid-tempo song, and "Magic Works" is a so-earnest-it's-awesome slow-dance song about wizards looking for love.
Overall, it's difficult to be disappointed by such a complete, greatly-paced soundtrack, full of so much variety and fun. It may not be Williams, but...even if he's "Just Patrick," Mr. Doyle has done this series of films proud.

2005 Warner/Sunset
1. The Story Continues 1:31
2. Frank Dies 2:12
3. The Quidditch World Cup 1:52
4. The Dark Mark 3:27
5. Foreign Visitors Arrive 1:30
6. The Goblet of Fire 3:23
7. Rita Skeeter 1:42
8. Sirius Fire 2:00
9. Harry Sees Dragons 1:54
10. Golden Egg 6:10
11. Neville's Waltz 2:11
12. Harry in Winter 2:56
13. Potter Waltz 2:19
14. Underwater Secrets 2:28
15. The Black Lake 4:38
16. Hogwarts' March 2:47
17. The Maze 4:44
18. Voldemort 9:39
19. Death of Cedric 1:59
20. Another Year Ends 2:21
21. Hogwarts' Hymn 2:59
22. Do the Hippogriff 3:39
23. This Is the Night 3:24
24. Magic Works 4:02

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