John Williams: Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone

What is there to say about the Harry Potter phenomenon that has already not been said? Any book that can spawn its own age (the ‘Harry Potter generation’, so they say) must have accumulated all there is to be said on the subject.

It was in 2001 that the first film, Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, was released, four years after Bloomsbury published J. K. Rowling’s novel. 

John Williams was drafted in to write the first score, which he did in Los Angeles and Tanglewood (where he has homes) before recording the soundtrack in London in August 2001. 

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Instantly, his themes became radio hits, and the basis for the next six films in the series, despite the fact that Williams himself dropped out of overall responsibility for the scores after number three (Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban). All the Harry Potter film soundtracks are still available with new music for each one by Patrick Doyle, Nicholas Hooper and Alexandre Desplat respectively. 

The final film, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2, was also scored by Frenchman Desplat.

Recommended Recording

London Symphony Orchestra; John Williams (conductor). Atlantic: 7567930865.

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