Wednesday, July 13, 2011

The Music Wizard of Deathly Hallows- Alexandre Desplat



Written by: Angie Newgren and Andy Fein


Alexandre Desplat held the grand task of composing the soundtracks for the last two Harry Potter films (Deathly Hallows Part 1 and Part 2). A well accomplished composer, Desplat displays his talents not only as an artist, but in his ability to compile all the themes in the first through the sixth soundtracks and bring them to a great finale.


Alexandre Desplat was born in Paris in 1961. His parents, (Greek mother, French father) greatly influenced him with music by classical training, and also with doses of American Jazz and Hollywood scores. Did his parents hope he'd grow up to be a great composer for Hollywood? Perhaps, but in any case that's what happened (and I'm sure they're proud).


Desplat has composed music for over 50 European films, and came to Hollywood to do the same. He has composed the scores for Hollywood movies such as The King's Speech, Twilight: New Moon, Fantastic Mr. Fox, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, The Golden Compass, The Queen, and The Girl With the Pearl Earring. He has won four Academy Awards and a Golden Globe.


The Deathly Hallows Part 2 opens with the song, "Lily's Theme." Desplat, said in an interview with The Leaky Cauldron, "The goal was to find something as gentle, as sweet, and as kind as a lullaby with a guilty touch to it." As for those of us who have read the last book, we know what an important role Lily has to the plot. I believe he captured the melody he was looking for right on target. Although his work seems almost flawless, he seems to think differently. He said in an interview with Classic FM  "I’m never very satisfied with anything… I never listen to my scores because if I do I just want to do it again and I have no time for that - life is too short!”


Desplat is an extremely talented composer. He is equally talented at melding the works of all the previous composers of the Harry Potter film scores- John Williams, Nicholas Hooper and Patrick Doyle. The Hedwig theme by John Williams is an iconic tune for the Harry Potter films. Desplat explains in an interview with Minnesota Public Radio, "We knew from the start that this last episode would require a bit more reference of John Williams's wonderful "Hedwig's Theme". The previous film was very much away from the school of Hogwarts and therefore was going for something more adult. And now that they are back at Hogwarts, with all their friends, all the kids we've seen growing up through the years, this incredible theme was needed. Was calling."


As the last credits roll and you say farewell to Harry and all your other Hogwarts friends, Alexandre Desplat's music will wash over you. And each time you hear his music from the film, even decades from now, you'll be transported back to the magical adventures of Harry Potter.

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