The history of humanity is traversed by art. In any of its forms, art collects the scattered pieces of what makes us up, and in an act of total honesty, brings to the senses the result of the expression of the spirit.
There is no doubt that each artistic expression has a job behind it, a series of tools that serve the artist to carry out the work. The formation of the artistic endeavor takes a great deal of work, beyond talent. That is why there are those who surprise us when they manage to perform in more than one branch of art. Anthony Hopkins and Woody Allen, in addition to achieving greatness in the world of cinema, are part of this group of people who have been involved in other artistic expressions.
Hopkins the musician
Anthony Hopkins, in addition to standing out in the cinema, playing characters such as Alfred Hitchcock, in the movie “Hitchcock,” or Father Lucas, in “The Rite”; leaves us amazed with his musical abilities. The day I heard And The Waltz Goes On, I was surfing YouTube’s Black Sea until a gem surfaced. There I was, seeing on my computer screen: a close-up of Hopkins’s face, then him as part of the decked out audience applauding in a Vienna theater.
“I didn’t expect to hear it again (talking about André Riu), but he called me back to say that he would love to play (the song And The Waltz Goes On), that he would even let me listen to his orchestra’s rehearsals on the phone.” Anthony Hopkins (The Scotsman).
André Riu, the Dutch composer, and behind him his luxurious orchestra, in an introduction that captures the curiosity of the audience, praises the musical piece and tells the story of how the actor asked him to play his song, which to the surprise of Riu turned out to be great. Hollywood was left behind and in its place a humble but strong presence, that of Hopkins, the musician, who thanks the eager audience who, without knowing, came to find the emotion of the never-heard work of the titan of cinema.
Hopkins was also in charge of composing the soundtrack for the films “August” and “Slipstream”, and also recorded a record of classical music performed by the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra (CBSO).
You don’t have to be a music critic to get excited about this piece. A composition full of images that, like any good waltz, takes us to castles of spacious rooms where pairs of shiny shoes slide across the marble, the crashes of the crystals full of champagne and grapes. Personally I am glad I met Hopkins, the musician.
Woody Allen y el jazz
That same afternoon, the internet brought me Woody Allen, named after the famous clarinetist Woody Herman (his original name is Allan Stewart Konigsberg). The director of “Manhattan” or “Blue Jasmine” was another of the greats who soon made his musical capacity known.
Now imagine walking through Soho, New York, the inexplicable steam from the sewers, the noisy streets full of locomotive legs that other walkers dodge. Jazz is a rule in Manhattan, it comes out of the cafes with foggy windows, it falls from the sky like manna; Allen’s films talk about jazz, the city breathes jazz. It would not be unreasonable to enter the Carlyle Cafe in the Big Apple and meet the Woody Allen & Eddy Davis New Orleans Jazz Band, the band with which he has played for more than 36 years. His music is a tribute to the old school, Dixieland style originated in the Mississippi Delta, where improvised brass instruments took the scene early in the last century.
“I am like a weekend golfer or tennis player. I play with enthusiasm and I love doing it, but I don’t have a real talent for it. “ Woody Allen (Richmond Times-Dispatch).
Although he is not a musician with the rigor of the greats, but rather a serious jazz fan, as he calls himself, he cannot be detracted from what it means to get on stage with his clarinet and play a song like New Orleans, and get it right.
It is clear that Anthony Hopkins and Woody Allen will not enter Valhalla through the musicians’ door, but it is not surprising that behind all the commercial success, there are people like these, with hidden talents, who make us pause to that we listen to them and give ourselves permission to do more than we allow ourselves.
By Juan Bone – [email protected] – IG: @juan_bone_z / Fb: juankbonilla
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The hidden talents of Anthony Hopkins and Woody Allen