Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets - OST

Review by Dean Allen

IF YOU have a blockbuster to score, then there really is only one man for the job. The man who has more recognizable themes than any other composer in living memory (think of Jaws, E.T., Star Wars, and you're more than likely to hum the theme tune) has returned to Hogwarts for the second Harry Potter film.

Kicking off with the now familiar Harry Potter's wondrous world theme, it's quickly clear that we're in classic Williams' territory, as the theme makes several appearances throughout the score in a variety of styles, with a particularly darker tone attributed for it in the Chamber of Secrets cue that defiantly ends in loud warning drums.

Williams has always been a proprietor of attributing themes to characters and so each new character gets a theme. From the majestic and soaring Fawkes the Phoenix; the pomposity and arrogance mixed in with a playful, comic arrangement so fitting to Gilderoy Lockhart; the wistful and secretive Dobby the House Elf; and the flighty arrangement for Moaning Myrtyle. Hell, even Colin gets his own theme and he appears in the film for all of two seconds!

A darker tone appears on the action cues, with urgent strings and the frantic pace of the chase in The Spiders, while Meeting Tom Riddle swaggers with foreboding, explanation, horror, and a dramatic crescendo of a reveal.

Meanwhile, Dueling the Basilisk offers the familiar theme with a more choral edge and a deadly game of cat-and-mouse between strings and brass. When it comes to creating action cues of urgency and frantic pace overflowing with themes, no one really comes close to Williams.

Whilst Chamber of Secrets offers nothing new for Williams, he still retains his title as one of the best film composers working today. A wondrous, magical score that throws in a couple of outstanding new themes with familiar work from the first film that will once again become synonymous with the movie.

(Composed by John Williams/eastwest records)

Track listings:

1. Prologue: Book II And The Escape From The Dursleys
2. Fawkes The Phoenix
3. The Chamber Of Secrets
4. Gilderoy Lockhart
5. The Flying Car
6. Knockturn Alley
7. Introducing Colin
8. The Dueling Club
9. Dobby The House Elf
10. The Spiders
11. Moaning Myrtle
12. Meeting Aragog
13. Fawkes Is Reborn
14. Meeting Tom Riddle
15. Cornish Pixies
16. Polyjuice Potion
17. Cakes For Crabbe And Goyle
18. Dueling The Basilisk
19. Reunion Of Friends
20. Harry's Wondrous World