Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire

Patrick Doyle

" Kiddy time is over, enter serious world Harry Potter "

Written by Thomas Glorieux - Review of the regular release

Harry Potter has entered adult world. The books, films and the scores all lead to a magical world where a boy becomes a man. This means that the wonderful childish quality and light hearted innocence of The Sorcerer's Stone is now long gone. With another director (Mike Newell) Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire takes another turn in events. No longer onboard is John Williams, the composer who brought forward all the themes of the first 3 films. Why John Williams hasn't been chosen is unsure, but I'm willing to bet it has more to do with the fact Mike Newell worked before with Patrick Doyle on Into the West and Donnie Brasco. Luckily Doyle is a craftsman pure sang, able to churn up different sounding magic for an already established sound. With Harry Potter he can now just bring it on the highest possible level of movie making.

The question was only, how much would Doyle use of Williams' themes? The Hedwig theme will remain a necessity for whichever composer that joins the box-office continuation of Harry Potter in the future. But what about the danger theme used in the first 2 movies, and what about the numerous themes Doyle has in store for this movie? I can say Williams' Hedwig's theme will not kill you in its usage because Doyle used it as little as possible (at least on disc here). Frankly the 2 versions cover a different sound as well. More or less they no longer feel like Williams' themes, perhaps a compliment to Doyle himself for putting his own voice into the theme. They appear in tracks 1 and 5.

It is frustrating however that it takes quite a long time to get the fire out of Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, at least longer than I expected. It all begins with "The Story Continues". Strings and ominous brass before the alternate version of Hedwig's theme is heard, sounding quite different than the light childish theme of the first scores.

With "Frank Dies" things don't improve much, with sinister strings and an uneasy mood. Meaning it is quite emotionless and unmoving. Throughout "The Quidditch World Cup" and "The Dark Mark" we get more Patrick Doyle colour. The first introduces a brief never to return Celtic influence (namely the choral / percussion led teaser music). This is effective stuff and one of the few choral accompanied moments you'll hear. The other track has at least for the first minute true Doyle magic, with racing strings and rhythmic brass like we heard before in his excellent action music from Mary Shelley's Frankenstein.

"Foreign Visitors Arrive" has the Hedwig's theme for the last time and an uplifting brass statement while "The Goblet of Fire" is quite eerie (despite the noble moment at the end). And just to summarize how long it takes to get out of it, comical light tinkling music supports the character of "Rita Skeeter". "Harry sees Dragons" isn't erupting into something magical at all, and here I became frustrated because none of the tracks brought me the grandeur I was hoping for.

And at that specific moment, between doubt and fear you get "Golden Egg". If the first blaze of brass doesn't blow you away, then the heroic big theme of the score with Doyle strings attached to it will do it in the end. It heightens the heroic level so high that you're hooked for the remainder of the album.

Yes, finally this score is going somewhere. The classical inspired music with "Neville's Waltz" and "Potter Waltz" (with the second being a close cousin to a replica moment in A Little Princess) is definitely a change of tone. So too is the enchanting "Harry in Winter" where a wonderful heroic theme transforms into a sweet like string movement. And the "Underwater Secrets" gives us the song performed by Doyle's daughter.

But it all comes down to the heroic music. And there Doyle shows you just how good he is with real epic music. In "The Black Lake" the heroic blazing grandeur is unleashed, with lots of wonderful moments of heroic swelling or epic fanfares. In "The Maze" it's all a lot darker and dangerous, yet Doyle takes the large baton again in his hand and unleashes strong fanfares through ominous thick brass. And it seems Lord Voldermort receives a theme as well, this noticeable in the final tracks. "Voldermort" is a mammoth dark piece full of blazing moments or quiet eerie discoveries, it however never resolves into a finish, just like the scene.

And who doesn't love spoilers? Apparently everyone has seen the movie already so where's the harm in giving some major spoilers? "Death of Cedric" brings more more emotion than the death at the beginning of the movie, which is of course understandable. With "Another year Ends" and "Hogwarts' Hymn" we close the listening experience, and it is the final track that does it in style. Here the CD should have stopped, but sadly it doesn't. Why? Well, in the pre production of the movie, there were rumours a certain Jarvis Cocker would compose the score of the film. Fortunately it remained just with various songs. Yet sadly for us, even that he couldn't accomplish in style because his 3 representations are absolute rubbish. I mean the last one is audible but the other 2 are utter crap, and above all, it doesn't fit with the (musical) world of Harry Potter one bit. So if you want a happy memory at the end, end at track 21.

Seriously, Doyle's score truly takes some time to warm up to. It takes time to get into the musical fantasy of his composition and above all accept the fact it is completely different from John Williams' music. But with time and patience, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire becomes the score more or less I wished it to be. In the blazing heroics, Doyle brings more out of the music than Williams' did, however in the fantasy genre Williams' moments still excel. If you ever combine the 2, you get wizardry.


1. The Story Continues + (1.29)
2. Frank Dies (2.09)
3. The Quidditch World Cup (1.51)
4. The Dark Mark (3.26)
5. Foreign Visitors Arrive + (1.29)
6. The Goblet of Fire (3.21)
7. Rita Skeeter (1.41)
8. Sirius Fire (1.59)
9. Harry Sees Dragons (1.53)
10. Golden Egg (6.10) Excellent track
11. Neville's Waltz (2.08)
12. Harry in Winter (2.54) Excellent track
13. Potter Waltz (2.18)
14. Underwater Secrets (2.26)
15. The Black Lake (4.36) Excellent track
16. Hogwarts' March (2.43)
17. The Maze (4.39) Excellent track
18. Voldermort (9.37)
19. Death of Cedric (1.56)
20. Another Year Ends (2.18)
21. Hogwarts' Hymn (2.56) Excellent track
22. Do the Hippogriff: Jarvis Cocker * (3.36)
23. This is the Night: Jarvis Cocker ** (3.22)
24. Magic Works: Jarvis Cocker ** (4.01)

* Written by Jarvis Cocker & Jason Bucke
** Written by Jarvis Cocker
+ Featuring Hedwig's Theme, written by John Williams

Total Length: 75.57
(click to rate this score)  
(total of 40 votes - average 4.25/5)

Released by

Warner Sunset 9362-49631-2 (regular release 2005)

Conducted by

James Shearman

Orchestrations by

Patrick Doyle, James Shearman, John Bell & Lawrence Ashmore

Performed by

The London Symphony Orchestra