PotterLore: Muggles enjoying the Wizarding World
This time we are focusing on the music of Harry Potter and how Muggles are enjoying live orchestras playing the scores to their favorite films.
Are you a fan of the Harry Potter films? I read the books first (confession: I have not seen all the films yet!) so I was able to largely imagine the characters and settings in my own mind first. I’m glad for that but yet I am also thankful that we were given the gift of Hogwarts on the big screen. One of the best things the films did for us as fans, in my opinion, was to provide a soundtrack for the Wizarding World. I now routinely listen to the gorgeous scores while reading and re-reading the novels.
Over the years, the Harry Potter franchise employed the creative genius of four composers for eight films. John Williams, who needs no introduction, provided the score for the first three movies. Some of my favorite pieces come from these. Hedwig’s Theme is probably the most recognizable and always gives me a chill of delight. Another of my favorites is Fawkes the Phoenix, named after Dumbledore’s feathered friend who makes his first appearance in the second book and film.
The Goblet of Fire was scored by Scottish composer Patrick Doyle, who also wrote the soundtrack for several Shakespeare film adaptations and the 1995 movie Sense and Sensibility, which stars Emma Thompson, Kenneth Branagh and the late, great Alan Rickman (Profs Trelawny, Lockhart, and Snape, respectively!)
British television and film composer Nicholas Hooper took the musical reins for the next two movies. His haunting Dumbledore’s Farewell is a beautiful tribute to our beloved Headmaster.
The two time Academy Award winning French composer Alexandre Desplat handled the last two installments. He gave us a second theme for Dobby the House Elf. While I admit a preference for Dobby’s first theme (Williams’ from The Chamber of Secrets) Desplat’s more pensive and dark version pays tribute to all that dobby endures and overcomes to become the House Elf he is meant to be (no spoilers!)
With all this beautiful and evocative music available, it’s no wonder that Muggles the world over have found a way to celebrate it. The Harry Potter in Concert series is a popular experience that combines a live orchestra with a big-screen showing of the movie it was written for. The film is run with all the dialogue and sound effects playing but the music is all played live by the orchestra in the pit or stage below the screen. It’s a wonder for the eyes and ears. One of the best parts is seeing all the other Harry Potter fans of all ages, many in costumes and House colors, turning out to celebrate the movies, music and legacy of the Wizarding World. I had the chance to see my favorite film/soundtrack combination, Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets performed by the Adelaide Symphony in South Australia last year and this summer I will be enjoying Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix at the Hollywood Bowl.
I highly encourage you to experience one of these wonderful productions if you can and experience the movies in a whole new way. To see what’s on where you live visit https://www.harrypotterinconcert.com/
Which Harry Potter film has your favorite soundtrack? Have you ever been to a Harry Potter music event?