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Imogen Heap

Music of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, Parts One and Two in Four Contemporary Suites

Music of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, Parts One and Two in Four Contemporary Suites

UPC: 190759011416

Format: LP (4 disc)

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In July of 2016, the two-part play Harry Potter and the Cursed Child opened in the West End. An official spin-off of the J.K. Rowling franchise, it's set 19 years after the seventh and final Harry Potter book, The Deathly Hallows. During early rehearsals, the production used songs from Imogen Heap's 2014 album Sparks as a stand-in before deciding to approach the alt-pop singer/songwriter about composing the score for the show. Though she borrowed heavily from her own existing songs, Heap's themes were newly arranged, recorded, and generally repurposed for the stage. (Elements of her song "Tiny Human," for instance, can be heard in the very different "Dragon!")
Two years after the play's London premiere, Heap presents a reworked version of the score "in four contemporary suites," which piece together over 100 music cues from the live production. Consisting of offbeat, partly electronic chamber music with (mostly) wordless singing in the mix, it drifts in and out of new agey keyboard atmosphere; sparkling, drum machine-driven electronica; and dramatic, plot-inspired score. An example of the latter can be heard on the brisk "Anything from the Trolley, Dears?" It conveys a fantastical trolley ride via melodic and staccato strings, mallet percussion, ethereal vocals, crescendoing cymbals, and wind effects. In a similar vein, Suite Two's "Dragons!" makes playful use of horns, plucked strings, keys, and marching and rock-style drums. Later, Dumbledore is introduced with plucked harp and airy female voice, and Moaning Myrtle is represented by muted, vibraphone-like tones. Rare lyrics are delivered choral-style on "Edge of the Forest," also from Suite Two. Suite Three opens on a darker, more rock-edged note, while a track like Suite Four's "Something Written" is led by more pastoral arpeggiated piano. Like the rest of the album, however, both of the latter are anchored in an otherworldly, part-mechanical atmosphere. Whimsical and relatively bright throughout despite the lurking threat of high-stakes danger, Heap captures the magical spirit and energy of the Harry Potter world on Four Contemporary Suites with a synthy palette quite distinct from the familiar John Williams film scores. To her credit, it's just as fitting and effective. ~ Marcy Donelson


Disc 1:
1 - Suite One: Platform 9 3/4
2 - Suite One: The Hogwarts Express
3 - Suite One: Welcome to Hogwarts
4 - Suite One: Wand Dance
5 - Suite One: Albus Severus Potter
6 - Suite One: The Blanket
7 - Suite One: Hut on the Rock
8 - Suite One: A Malfoy
9 - Suite One: Anything From the Trolley, Dears?
10 - Suite One: Ministry of Magic
11 - Suite One: St. Oswald's
12 - Suite One: Wizarding World
13 - Suite One: Shadows and Spirits
Disc 2:
1 - Suite Two: Privet Drive
2 - Suite Two: McGonagall's Office
3 - Suite Two: The Forbidden Forest
4 - Suite Two: Edge of the Forest
5 - Suite Two: Dragons!
6 - Suite Two: Dumbledore
7 - Suite Two: Staircase Ballet
8 - Suite Two: The Duel
9 - Suite Two: Invisibility Cloak
10 - Suite Two: Moaning Myrtle
11 - Suite Two: Scorius Alone
Disc 3:
1 - Suite Three: A World of Darkess
2 - Suite Three: Another Hogwarts
3 - Suite Three: Dementors
4 - Suite Three: Expecto Patronum
5 - Suite Three: In Trouble (Again)
6 - Suite Three: Slytherin Dormitory
7 - Suite Three: The Owlery
8 - Suite Three: A New Prophecy
9 - Suite Three: The Augurey
Disc 4:
1 - Suite Four: Extraordinary General Meeting
2 - Suite Four: Godric's Hollow
3 - Suite Four: Paint and Memory
4 - Suite Four: Something Written
5 - Suite Four: The Final Battle
6 - Suite Four: The Arrival
7 - Suite Four: Lily and James
8 - Suite Four: Burning Bed
9 - Suite Four: A Nice Day