This soundtrack is near and dear to my heart for multiple reasons. For starters, it’s the first film soundtrack I ever owned. Also, Harry Potter played a very large part in my childhood and shaping me to be the person I am today, so John Williams’ score to Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone occasionally leaves me emotional.
John Williams is phenomenal. He has composed the most iconic film themes of all time, including (but not limited to) Jaws, Superman, Star Wars, and E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial. His score to this film is not an exception: “Hedwig’s Theme” is the maintheme that everyone associates with Harry Potter, forcing the three composers who followed Williams in scoring the Harry Potter films to utilize it in their own scores.
The best way I can possibly describe this score is “magical”…I’m sorry, but it just is.It’s one of the few scores that I can sit down and listen to from start to finish and be able to play through the film in my head, from “The Arrival of Baby Harry” all the way to “Leaving Hogwarts”. This is especially easy to do since much of the score is timed with specific key moments in the film itself. A prime example of this is the track “The Quidditch Match”, in which you are able to hear the exact moment when the quaffle is tossed into the air to start the game, or when Quirrell starts cursing Harry’s broom, or when Harry nearly swallows the golden snitch. Williams is a master of this.
I have zero criticism for this score, possibly because I’m biased, but that’s okay with me. “Entry Into the Great Hall and The Banquet” will always present a magical moment to me, “The Face of Voldemort” will always bring a chill down my spine, and “Leaving Hogwarts” still brings tears to my eyes…especially when it was used in the closing moments of the final film of the series, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Pt. 2 (Williams’ score for this first movie was sampled throughout the final one…a nice touch by composer Alexandre Desplat).
Overall, this score is the best and I love John Williams.
Rating: 5 (out of 5)
1. “Prologue” 2:12
2. “Harry’s Wondrous World” 5:21
3. “The Arrival of Baby Harry” 4:25
4. “Visit to the Zoo and Letters from Hogwarts” 3:23
5. “Diagon Alley and the Gringotts Vault” 4:06
6. “Platform Nine-and-Three-Quarters and the Journey to Hogwarts” 3 3:14
7. “Entry into the Great Hall and the Banquet” 3:42
8. “Mr. Longbottom Flies” 3:35
9.” Hogwarts Forever! and the Moving Stairs” 3:47
10. “The Norwegian Ridgeback and a Change of Season” 2:47
11. “The Quidditch Match” 8:29
12. “Christmas at Hogwarts” 2:56
13. “The Invisibility Cloak and the Library Scene” 3:16
14. “Fluffy’s Harp” 2:39
15. “In the Devil’s Snare and the Flying Keys” 2:21
16. “The Chess Game” 3:49
17. “The Face of Voldemort” 6:10
18. “Leaving Hogwarts” 2:14
19. “Hedwig’s Theme” 5:11
Total Length: app. 74 min.