The highly anticipated first installment of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows has arrived and, along with it, a powerful musical score. Alexandre Desplat picks up where Nicholas Hooper left off in Half Blood Prince and takes the musical reigns in this heated series. At first, the score for Deathly Hallows could possibly be perceived as unfinished; the magic that Harry Potter scores usually evoke might not initially consume you the way it always has, for it does not possess the comprehensive range of emotions each Potter film has. However, because the story is unfinished and jaw dropping events have yet to unfold, it makes sense that the score is somewhat underdeveloped as well–a score’s duty is to complement and enhance a film’s existing features.
Desplat illustrates that the glimmer of magical hope is desperately dwindling but has not vanished through music. The composer thereby brings together the feelings of anguish, love, and terror without drowning one another out. The first piece of the score, “Obliviate,” holds the musical key to the apparent anguish that envelops the film. The track begins hushed, as if in hiding, but soon makes itself known through a gradually intense combination of
violins, clarinet, and trumpets. These instruments work very well with each other, quieting and intensifying to create a highly reflective piece of music. The piece’s rushed melodies reveal how strikingly pressing situations have become. There is a sense of urgency, which foreshadows the inevitability of life altering events for wizards and muggles alike. On the whole, “Obliviate” represents the sweeping changes that are occurring in the series. Desplat elevates the drama with tracks such as “Snape to Malfoy Manor,” “Sky Battle” and “Captured and Tortured.” This musical selection is indeed under attack, as it reveals just how dark and shocking the series is going to get. The music clings to the seriousness and sheer terror of unfolding affairs and widens their scope to better experience them, giving a great glimpse into a fictional, yet realistic magical battle.
A Harry Potter score would not be complete without detailing the glue that holds the series together: the inesca
pable and immeasurable amount of loyalty that exists among characters. Pieces such as “Ron’s Speech” and “Farewell to Dobby” reveal the love that pervades the film, whether in the form of friendship or romance. A musical softness dawns on the score, which will soothe the frights and hard edges of the fi
lm. The music captures the soul of true endearment and projects it onto the listener, marking these emotional pieces as truly enchanting. Alexandre Desplat elegantly composes the Original Motion Picture Score for Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows; he creates a score that stands on its own while never losing touch with the series’ past masterpieces. Through his evident musical flair, Desplat commences the end of the Harry Potter Series nicely, while simultaneously making viewers squeal in their seats for the final installment of the spellbinding series.
- Megan Acheampong
For samples of the score, click here.