In Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets
, the second film, and book, about the young British wizard, things get considerably darker and scarier. This is of course reflected in John Williams
' score, like its predecessor filled with magic, adventure and wonder, but richer on action and suspense cues. First, let's make it clear that although Williams' collaborated with William Ross
on this score, all music is written by the former. William Ross
's task in the production of this score was not to write additional music, but to adapt Williams' themes from the first film, and to conduct the score.
It is no surprise that many of the themes from the previous score shows up in The Chamber of Secrets as well. There's the sweeping and lyrical theme for Harry, heard in full glory in the end credits suite, "Harry's Wondrous World". The grand theme for Hogwarts shows up in a couple of cues, as well, as does the already classic celesta dominated little ditty that Williams usually refers to as Hedwig's Theme, although it really isn't used to represent Hedwig at all. And Voldemort's omnious theme, or motif, returns in "Meeting Tom Riddle". When it comes to new themes there's one memorable and sweeping theme for Fawkes the Phoenix - Dumbledore's bird - used in "Fawkes the Phoenix" (a fuller, more developed and concert hall friendly version of the theme) and "Fawkes is Reborn". Gilderoy Lockhart, masterfully portraid by Kenneth Brannagh in the film, is associated with one of those typical sherzo-sounding marches that Williams does so well (although a little too often, perhaps), complete with whimsy harpsichord, low bouncy strings, woodwinds and muted brass. Not that original, perhaps, but entertaining, none the less. Other themes that make appearances are the ones for Dobby the house elf and Moaning Myrtle, although they are not that memorable.
With a running time of just over 70 minutes the CD hosts a fairly large number of memorable cues. Apart from the tracks already mentioned above, "The Chamber of Secrets" is one of the highlights, and a personal favorite, with its strong, adventurous brass and fast strings. "The Spiders" is also an excellent and busy action cue with creepy strings and muted brass. Classic Williams. Overall, Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets
is an excellent score, both on CD and in the film, even though it generally isn't as good as the Philosopher's Stone score.
Each soundtrack CD comes with one of five special collectible covers - exactly like the soundtrack release of Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring last winter - and a "free mini-poster", which actually is the backside of the booklet. Cheap marketing ploys like these really piss me off. They actually make me furious. What do they want us to do? Buy all five different versions just so that we can get all five covers (which actually is just a sheet of paper placed in front of the real cover art)? It makes me even more angry that this evil scheme probably is directed towards kids, more than adults. Do we, as adults, care about "collectible" covers? Don't think so. Do kids care about them? Probably. If they are huge Harry Potter
fans, especially. Shame on Warner Bros. Can't say I'm surprised though...
Read other recent reviews by Andreas Lindahl: The Rocketeer
, Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl
, The Phantom of the Opera