The arrival of a beautifully presented new Faber Music Piano Anthology has become something of a tradition as the nights start to draw in each Autumn, and happily this year’s new collection doesn’t disappoint.
While Faber’s previous bumper books have each focused on a genre, their classical, jazz standards, pop ballads, Christmas, contemporary, soundtracks and easy piano collections all featured in the Pianodao Music Library, the latest has a more specific focus: the music of the beloved Harry Potter movie franchise.
Produced in partnership with Alfred Music, The Harry Potter Piano Anthology is a truly sumptuous affair, and promises:
“The best-loved themes from the Harry Potter and Fantastic Beasts soundtracks magically arranged for intermediate piano solo.”
With 56 pieces, including tracks drawn from the soundtracks of all eleven movies in the franchise to date, the book is an obvious must for Potter fans, and a gorgeous gift book. Let’s take a closer look…
A few of the tunes from the Harry Potter film world are well-embedded in our musical consciousness, but this anthology reminds us that the incidental music from the movie series stretches far further than we might otherwise credit, and includes music by several of the most famous composers alive.
Across the book’s 208 pages, it includes the following 56 titles:
Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone
(music composed by John Williams)
1. Harry’s Wondrous World
2. Diagon Alley
3. Nimbus 2000
5. Leaving Hogwarts
6. Hedwig’s Theme
Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets
7. The Chamber Of Secrets
8. Fawkes The Phoenix
9. The Spiders
Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkeban
10. Buckbeak’s Flight
11. A Window To The Past
12. Hagrid The Professor
Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
13. The Quidditch World Cup (The Irish)
14. Neville’s Waltz
15. Harry In Winter
16. Potter Waltz
17. Death Of Cedric
18. Hogwarts’ March
19. Hogwarts’ Hymn
Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix
21. Professor Umbridge
22. Dumbledore’s Army
23. The Room Of Requirement
24. The Ministry Of Magic
25. Loved Ones And Leaving
Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince
26. Harry And Hermione
27. In Noctem
29. Wizard Wheezes
30. Farewell Aragog
31. When Ginny Kissed Harry
32. Slughorn’s Confession
33. Dumbledore’s Farewell
34. The Weasley Stomp
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1
36. Snape To Malfoy Manor
37. At The Burrow
38. Godric’s Hollow Graveyard
39. Harry And Ginny
40. Farewell To Dobby
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2
42. Lily’s Theme
43. Courtyard Apocalypse
44. Severus And Lily
45. The Resurrection Stone
46. A New Beginning
Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them
(James Newton Howard)
47. A Man and His Beasts
48. End Titles, Pt.2
49. Kowalski Rag
50. Newt Says Goodbye to Tina/Jacob’s Bakery
Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald
(James Newton Howard)
51. Salamander Eyes
52. Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald
53. Dumbledore’s Theme
54. Leta’s Theme
55. Fantastic Beasts Theme
Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore
(James Newton Howard)
56. The Ceremony
We are not told who made these transcriptions (the credit simply reads “Arrangements by Alfred Music”) but having dipped into the collection I can happily advise that most follow the original scores with commendable effect; I am sure that lovers of the film soundtracks won’t be disappointed.
The trick is of course to write music which works on the piano, but which is also true to the spirit of the orchestral originals; it is by succeeding so well in doing this that these versions weave a convincing spell.
Harry’s Wondrous World opens the collection with some of John Williams most recognisable themes from the franchise. The arrangement extends to eleven pages, but is an essential introduction which I imagine all who buy the anthology will want to master.
There are passages where the loss of orchestral colour needs, inevitably, to be compensated by the player and listener’s imagination, but I am pleased that Alfred and Faber Music give us an opportunity to relive the brilliant score as fully as possible.
As the anthology progresses, many of the pieces are shorter, again true to their role in the original movies. With pieces that are two or three pages long interspersed between those which require more commitment, I would expect that players will spend many hours exploring this wealth of music, and that this is a book they will return to again and again.
My only caveat: many of these arrangements are harder than “intermediate” level; in general the book would suit early advanced players (around Grades 6-8), who could explore its riches with assurance, confidence and freedom. Underlining this, it’s worth stating that (as is too often the case), no fingering suggestions are included to support independent learners.
In common with previous Faber Music Piano Anthologies, The Harry Potter Piano Anthology enjoys stunning presentation. The sturdy cover, which as ever has additional inner flaps, is given a classy matt veneer and embossed with gold lettering. The cover illustration by MinaLima, the graphic design studio behind the Wizarding World, is… magical.
Within, the pages are printed on high quality white paper. There’s a title page and two-page Contents spread, followed by the scores themselves. These are organised in the order that the films appeared, and as listed above.
The notation is superbly presented, with a generous music font size, well-spaced pages, and excellent print clarity.
As with the previous titles in the Faber Piano Anthology series, this collection is also very keenly priced, offering truly outstanding value for money. What a relief that it won’t require a special trip to Gringott’s!
For fans of the Potter-verse, all who love film music, and fans of these iconic composers’ work, The Harry Potter Piano Anthology is a very easy recommendation. This is an exceptional publication which is unlikely to disappoint.
Pianodao Music Club members enjoy exclusive discounts on sheet music.
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