Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban [Original Motion Picture Soundtrack]

( 36 )

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - James Christopher Monger
John Williams, when working within the realms of science fiction or fantasy, somehow manages to convey the same level of magic and whimsy inherent in Tchaikovsky's "Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy." For the first two Harry Potter films he employed an instantly memorable theme augmented by a series of elegant yet uninspired action motifs that while effortless were, like the films themselves, merely adequate. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban finds the Oscar-winning composer swelled with a creative giddiness that hasn't been present for some time, resulting in a piece of work that's both fully realized and endlessly unpredictable. Beginning with the familiar...
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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - James Christopher Monger
John Williams, when working within the realms of science fiction or fantasy, somehow manages to convey the same level of magic and whimsy inherent in Tchaikovsky's "Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy." For the first two Harry Potter films he employed an instantly memorable theme augmented by a series of elegant yet uninspired action motifs that while effortless were, like the films themselves, merely adequate. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban finds the Oscar-winning composer swelled with a creative giddiness that hasn't been present for some time, resulting in a piece of work that's both fully realized and endlessly unpredictable. Beginning with the familiar celesta cue that launches each installment, Williams seems poised to deliver a solid reworking of the previous scores, but that sentiment is abruptly quelled by the jazzy, big-band one-two punch of "Aunt Margie's Waltz" and "The Knight Bus" -- the latter borrows liberally from his outstanding Mancini-esque work on Catch Me If You Can. What follows is an intoxicating fusion of medieval-meets-Rossini-meets-Arvo Pärt mayhem that recalls his Close Encounters of the Third Kind heyday. Director Alfonso Cuaron's youthful enthusiasm has had an effect on Williams, and nowhere is that more apparent than on "Double Trouble," a devious choral piece cleverly built around the prose of Shakespeare's Macbeth and devilishly sung by the London Oratory School Schola Children's Choir. It's this melody, culled from bits and pieces of "Hedwig's Theme" from The Sorcerer's Stone, that permeates the entire score. Williams has a deep understanding of the orchestra, and his love of woodwinds is on glorious display throughout the work's entirety, but they never overplay -- as was often the case in the previous two films -- even the thunderous Kodo-style tympanis that introduce the Hypogriff "Buckbeak" are merely exclamation points announcing the arrival of one of the composer's most beautiful melodies. The Prisoner of Azkaban is thought by many to be the finest book in the series, and it would seem that both the director and the composer agree. Like Cuaron and Rowling, Williams meets his characters -- children especially -- on common ground, allowing them to laugh, suffer, fail, and succeed on their own terms. He may be the author and director's emotional conduit, but he's a master storyteller as well.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 5/25/2004
  • Label: Atlantic
  • UPC: 075678371127
  • Catalog Number: 83711
  • Sales rank: 13,434

Album Credits

Performance Credits
John Williams [composer] Primary Artist, Conductor
Randy Kerber Celeste, Soloist
Terry Edwards Choir Master
Marcia Crayford Concert Mistress
Stephen Grahl Children's Choirmaster
London Voices Choir, Chorus
Technical Credits
John Williams [composer] Producer
Shawn Murphy Engineer
Alfonso Cuarón Liner Notes
Lisa Margolis Business Consultant
Keith Zajic Business Consultant
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 5
( 36 )
Rating Distribution

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(33)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 36 Customer Reviews
  • Posted January 29, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    John Williams composed another winner for Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban!

    I absolutely loved this movie score for Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban. My favorite song was Double Trouble, but other songs like "Buckbeak's Flight" were thrilling. I only wish John Williams had remained as the composer for the following Harry Potter movies. If you like John Williams' style in the first two Harry Potter movies, you'll definitely enjoy this score. I highly recommend it for anyone's personal library.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Magical

    It's an insult to the pieces in the album if the reason you like it is because of John Williams or Harry potter alone. The music on the album completely exudes a grand rainbow of emotions, from the celtic ballad that can almost bring you to tears in " A Window to the Past" to the lofty, inspirational, bombastic "Buckbeak's Flight" this album may very well be the best compilation of music within the Harry Potter film series.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Excellent!!

    This soundtrack was excellent, especially the percussion in 'The Werewolf Scene'! My favorites were 'The Werewolf Scene', 'Finale', and many more! I completely reccomend this soundtrack to any John Williams/Harry Potter lover!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Excellent Soundtrack, John Willians is amazing

    I love movie soundtracks, but this soundtrack is amazing! John Williams has outdone himself and this soundtrack is much better than the previous two! The music is beautiful and leaves you in awe, the mix of orchestra and choir is inspiring! My favorite tracks include: "Window to the Past", "Secrets of the Castle", "Double Trouble", "Finale", and "Forward to Time Past".

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    WOW

    there is no words to describe this! it's soo . so. so .. wow. it's amzing espiceally the song "A Window To The Past", it's such a soothing song... it calms me down a lot and it's s great melody!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    excellent

    i loved all the songs, especially "secrets of the castle" and "mischeif managed"

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Loved it! So inspirational...

    This soundtrack is very good. I loved 'Double Trouble', 'A Window to the Past', and 'Secrets of the Castle' especially. And, of course, who could forget 'Lumos! (Hedwig's Theme)'? This is a must have for a music-loving Harry Potter fan.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    One word - Amazing!

    I loved every minute of this album, the music was enchanting and beautifully written. I especially loved Buckbeak's flight and Window to the Past.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    They just keep getting better and better...

    John Williams saved the day when he signed on to add to his presigious repertoire and score the incredibly popular Harry Potter films. The first two soundtracks captured exactly what the story required, the exact charm, magic and mischeif drawn from J.K. Rowling's brilliant books, from dark and ominous to light and enchanting, and the third time around is no exception. Williams seems to have expanded his Harry Potter style a little, adding some Tchaikovsky-esque brilliance with Aunt Marge's Waltz and some frantic jazziness with The Knight Bus, all of which prove to be welcome changes and additions as Harry Potter's story becomes ever more complicated and teenage angst begins to take hold. Still, the true magic of Harry Potter remains, as it starts with the timeless and enduring theme at the outset, and continuing to add themes throughout, notably the cousin to Hedwig's Theme, Double Trouble, sung by the Hogwarts Choir and their toads... Timpanis exclamatorily announce the arrival of one of the film's most incredible themes, Buckbeak's Flight, and Window to the Past is one of Williams's most poignant and moving pieces to date; it almost seems Lily and James Potter finally have a theme. Also, in Harry's third year, Quidditch has become increasingly more intense, and appropriately Williams has responded superbly, while The Patronus Light is an ethereal piece of choral and orchestral work. Saving Buckbeak and Forward to Time Past expertly weave execution dirge beats and ticking clocks to truly tell the story the film so excellently weaves, while Mischief Managed is an extended medley of several of the film's themes that run over the credits. Here's hoping that Williams will continue to add his genius to the rest of the Harry Potter franchise.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Just Unexplainable!!

    I just love this soundtrack and all the others!! Ther are all awsome and should deserve some award!! I am listening to the new one right now and I just love it!! Everyone should really take the time to listen to this. John Williams always rocks!!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    The Best out of the Three!

    This is the best one yet, I have the last two...and they are nothing compared to this one! This one has a more "mystical" texture to it. It's got a bit of the old stuff, with a whole pot load of new songs that are total amazment. It's more my kind of music, than the last two.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Music Lover***

    I love Harry Potter but even if i didn't i highly recommand this soundtrack. It's completely different from the first two soundtracks but in a good way. It's fun exciting and darker but still has it's classical touch. Believe you'll love it :D!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Wow...Just....Wow

    I bought this CD after I saw the movie on June 4th. I was very depresssed knowing I wouldn't be seeing the film again for some time, but the second I put this CD in I felt like I was watching the movie again. This is a fresh Harry Potter CD; not like the others which is primarily classical. In this soundtrack you hear different syles; this was the first CD that really captured HP for me. I can't go to sleep without it! It was "Brilliant!"

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    More Magic from the Man

    John Williams charmed me again with this cd. I loved the whacky sounds of the Knight Bus and of course Double Trouble (from Macbeth) is great. In the movie, it was portrayed that Lupin liked sort of Jazzy big band music and it is incorporated into this score. Aunt Marge's Waltz is fun, as well as the Whomping Willow track. The Patronus' Light and Saving Buckbeak (with passionate strings) is very beautiful, as "Fawkes the Phoenix" was on Chamber of Secrets. Window to the Past features a lovely wooden flute sounding instrument. Wow, this is taking too long, there are so many good ones on it. I have something to say about all of the tracks, and I'm not going to bore you, so just buy it if you are in doubt. It is beautiful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Williams does it again!

    I'm a HUGE fan of Harry Potter and listening to the soundtracks reminds me of the movies. "Double Trouble" is the best song!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    good as the movie

    Okay, the only reason I liked movies 1 and 2 were because of the music. Movie 3 is great (I think it's due to Cuaron) and the music is stunning. I love the music Williams had for "Double Trouble" (from Macbeth). And the harpsichord is a wonderful touch. But I missed the Quidditch theme.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    The Great One outdoes himself again!

    Having heard most, if not all of John Williams' work over the years, it is not surprising to find PoA to be an outstanding work of art. Not only does he deliver in the previous Harry Potter soundtracks, but he delivers "passionately" in this one. Alfonso Cuaron's passion within the movie is highly enriched by this beautiful music. No one can deny that "Buckbeak's Flight" lifts you off and gives you the sensation of flying there beside Harry over the lake aboard Buckbeak. Yes, it's in line with "Fawkes the Phoenix", but this one delivers more of a passion punch throughout. I believe John Williams is the greatest composer of our time and deserves greater recognition than what he has garnered. This CD is awesome and, even if you're not a Harry Potter fan, you should enjoy it for the pure musical color within.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    John Williams did it again with Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban

    The third soundtrack may be the best yet of all the Harry Potter soundtracks.The cd itself seems to contain a little bit of magic also. The woodwinds and brass instruments sound so cool in relation to the movie AND THE MOVIE IS MAGICAL.I LISTENED TO THE WHOLE SOUNDTRACK AND IT WAS BRILLIENT. IF YOU HAVEN'T HEARD IT YET I URGED YOU TO TRY IT AND SEE IF YOU LIKE IT.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Classical Music Gone Over the Top

    The 1st 2 Harry Potter CD's were amazing but this one's the best. Come's with a Fold-Out-Poster and a CD filled with some of the best classical music you've ever heard

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Awesome!!!!

    I heard the whole album just this last hour. This is GREAT! The music really sets a spooky tone for the movie. John Williams is a master. This album is a must have for any Harry Potter fan or just any plain old fan of music! The music has a very medieval feeling to it. As an 80's child, there is no greater compliment then awesome.

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 36 Customer Reviews