Joshua Gizelt (swashbuckler332) wrote,
Joshua Gizelt

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The score from Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire is very satisfying to me on many different levels. I like the craftsmanship of the scoring in the film (although it is mixed a bit low at the times when it should be louder and vice-versa in the movie). I appreciated the use of Hedwig's theme and the new, darker spin on it. I like the Britishness of the tone. And, of course, I like Patrick Doyle's compositional style.

Doyle is one of the few composers whom I was onto from early on. I saw the first feature he scored, Kenneth Branagh's Henry V, and I was struck by the music. Doyle had written some material for some Renaissance Theatre productions, so he wasn't coming onto this thing completely cold, but at the same time this was a huge, epic score that was fiercely melodic, with all of the blood and thunder and probing intimacy that entailed. Doyle's next score would be for Branagh's thriller Dead Again, for which he provided a grand, old fashioned score that also played an important role in the narrative of the film; one of the characters in the film is writing an opera that is the generating thematic material for the score, a witty enough device, but also one that, on a mythic level is implying that the film we are watching is, in fact, that character's opera.

Pretty hefty stuff there, huh? Yeah, but he didn't stop there. He started working with other filmmakers with Indochine, and continued to do so with Carlito's Way, Needful Things, Donnie Brasco (on which he worked with Goblet director Mike Newell), A Little Princess and Great Expectations (on which he worked with Prisoner of Azkaban director Alfonso Cuarón, but he still was doing Much Ado About Nothing and Frankenstein and Hamlet for Branagh. All of these scores displayed a keen dramatic sense as well as a firm command of the orchestra, and I was a big fan.

Then he got leukemia and stopped working for a while to undergo treatment. He is fine now, but Branagh is having trouble getting funding for his films now and there was a slow ramp-up in terms of projects. Then he did the very pretty Gosford Park and his glittering, Korngoldian Secondhand Lions, and I knew he was back in the game. Then he fell under my radar again. I know that he had composed a score for Indochine director Régis Wargnier and a few other projects, but that was when I was too poor to see movies or buy CDs at the time. So my experience was basically a cascade of really exciting scores, nothing for a while and then two really good scores, and now Goblet of Fire.

Doyle may have used a John Williams theme from the previous movies, but he makes it his own and works it into a score that is most definitely his. It has his fingerprints all over it, from the very through-composed nature of the music to certain orchestrational devices that Doyle has. This is a dense score, and it just keeps rewarding with repeated listening. The more I listen to it, the more interesting it becomes. It really is wonderful to be hearing a voice again that had been (to me, at least), silent for so long.
Tags: film music

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