BWW Review: HARRY POTTER AND THE GOBLET OF FIRE IN CONCERT, Royal Albert Hall
"While we may come from different places and speak in different tongues, our hearts beat as one." With this, the fourth instalment of the Harry Potter franchise, events start to take a darker turn; Death Eaters are going about their business more openly, and someone seems to be working behind-the-scenes to bring chaos and disorder to Hogwarts.
CineConcerts this weekend continued the Harry Potter Film Concert Series at the Royal Albert Hall, screening The Goblet of Fire accompanied by the Royal Philharmonic Concert Orchestra.
Conductor Justin Freer got the crowd in the mood for magic with a short introduction at the beginning of the evening, paying tribute to composer Patrick Doyle and finding out the allegiances of the audience - Gryffindor seemed to win this one, with a resounding boo for Slytherin. These screenings are true celebrations for diehard fans, giving them the chance to dress up in house colours and revel in the awe-inspiring music just as much as the story itself.
The timing of this particular film couldn't have been much better, for a number of reasons. Kicking off with the Quidditch World Cup Final and then going into the Triwizard Tournament tied in neatly with the 2019 Rugby World Cup Final - England fans in a confident and buoyant mood on the Friday going into Saturday morning's match.
On a more serious note, you can't help but notice the parallels between the rise of Voldemort and his followers in the film and the rise of the far right in the real world; both seemingly vanquished, but really just lying dormant and building up strength.
The music for the first three films was composed by the legendary John Williams, however from this point in the series new composers stepped in to create the scores - Doyle taking on this film, before handing over to Nicholas Hooper and Alexandre Desplat for the final four. Williams' famous "Hedwig's Theme" was incorporated into Doyle's soundtrack, as well as some new ones being introduced; "Voldemort's Theme" is carried through to The Order of the Phoenix, whereas the rest are used solely in this film.
There is great light and shade within the score, representing the highs and lows of the story, and made all the more powerful with a live orchestra performance. The passion of "The Quidditch World Cup", portraying the finalists Ireland and Bulgaria, makes this an early highlight - and the Yule Ball themes later, including "Potter Waltz", are among some of the most magical moments.
The ball, of course, also features music from The Weird Sisters - played in the film by something of an indie supergroup, including Jarvis Cocker on vocals and Jonny Greenwood on lead guitar. It's a shame that their songs (all composed by Cocker, with Jason Buckle co-composing "Do the Hippogriff") couldn't be performed live as well; had this been a standalone event then this may have been feasible, but with five performances from Friday to Sunday it's understandable that the film recording was used and the orchestra given a brief respite.
It was a bit of a shame to see so many people leaving during the credits and missing the end of the orchestra's performance (more unforgivably, talking over it as if the musicians weren't there); this is one of the longer films in the Harry Potter series, meaning a reasonably late finish, though with the running time readily available it does make you wonder why anyone would actively choose to cut short their experience in this way. Perhaps an earlier start time would be sensible in future, particularly given the family audiences this kind of film will attract.
Aside from this, it was yet another magical film in concert at the incomparable Royal Albert Hall - a thrill to hear Patrick Doyle's score brought vividly to life, all while witnessing the turning point in the film series up on the big screen.