And the Waltz Goes On, by Sir Anthony Hopkins

I found this extremely intense. Anthony Hopkins wrote this waltz over 50 years ago, and here, he hears it performed by the magnificent André Rieu and his Johann Strauss Orchestra. It’s worth it to watch the entire thing. The audience getting caught up in the rhythm (the infectious rhythm of the waltz), and Hopkins’ own face as he listens to the waltz he wrote as a young man be performed by this phenomenal orchestra.

I guess what it made me feel was: Life is sometimes very very hard. But human beings are often totally magical. Transcendence is possible. Light and joy and life are possible. There it is, in that gigantic concert space. It’s alive. We are beautiful.

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16 Responses to And the Waltz Goes On, by Sir Anthony Hopkins

  1. Jessie says:

    Nothing better than 3/4 time! That’s lovely. Actually it makes me think of this. Also it looks like a Disney movie.

    Hopkins and music: there’s a great song that pops up in my shuffle every now and then, and for years I never realised it was sampling Hopkins at the start – then I watched Lion in Winter a few months ago and now it makes me even happier every time I hear it!

    • sheila says:

      Oh my God, that Freddie Mercury clip – one of my favorites of all time. Such. A. Superstar.

      And yes – all the colored pretty dresses of the musicians – totally Disney!

      • Jessie says:

        Superstar is the only word for him! Insane.

        I was NOT prepared for how funny Lion in Winter was! Or the agility of Hepburn and O’Toole, my god, they were like Formula 1 drivers.

        • sheila says:

          Ha. Totally. And her entrance?? Down the river? Jeez Louise.

          It’s such a funny script – I really should see it again!

    • sheila says:

      Listening to that song now. Wow!! I don’t know it. Love the Hopkins sample!

    • sheila says:

      I adore Lion in Winter. “Well, what family doesn’t have its problems.”


  2. Rachel says:

    Gosh, I love the orchestral ladies in their ball gowns! I’ve never seen an orchestra dressed like that! So lovely. And the crowd, swaying to the music. I literally cried tears of joy. Thanks!

  3. Jaquandor says:

    “You chivalric fool, as if the way a man fell down mattered.”

    “When the fall is all there is, it matters.”

    Great script!

    (On the video itself — I couldn’t help noticing that Hopkins is dressed rather like the way Hannibal Lecter is dressed in the final scene of SILENCE OF THE LAMBS, when he’s in the Caribbean and slowly following the old friend he’s going to have for dinner….)

  4. Milt says:

    Thank you for posting the Anthony Hopkins waltz. It’s a lovely and haunting piece, reminiscent of Nino Rota. There’s a second performance on the same web site played in a slower tempo, in an ornate cathedral, with lots of better lighted close-ups of Hopkins and his wife. He’s mouthing the music all the way through. Do you know how he came to write this piece? Has he written other music? There are always unexpected surprises on your web site.

  5. milt says:

    Addenda: I gather that you are an Andre Rieu admirer. I can’t understand the Andre Rieu phenomenon, which draws such huge audiences to his concerts. What he provides are pleasant, gussied up pop concerts. I’m turned off by his affected image, and all those colorful gowns remind me of an M-G-M musical. It’s salesmanship, and the bucks keep rolling in. To his credit, the music is played straightforwardly, with very little schmaltz. The Anthony Hopkins waltz is treated respectfully, and with a great deal of feeling.

    As a contrast to Rieu, are you aware of Max Raabe and his Palast Orchester? He sings and they play songs in the style of the Weimar Era. Raabe is a certified operatic baritone, but for these performances he dons tails and sings in a high register typical of the time. It”s all loving, entertaining fun. The group tours the world and recently played again in Carnegie Hall. There are lots of posts of their work on Youtube.

    Another tip: I’m sure you’ve seen the film The Harmonists. Have you everr heard the real group? Again, there are a number of their sublime examples on Youtube.

    We first became aware of Anthony Hopkins years ago, in a TV play aired on the old Channel 13 in New York before PBS was established. He played a character based on Dylan Thomas, visiting New York and getting soused all the time. The wonderful Billie Whitelaw played his fuming wife. We immediately realized he was an exceptional actor, and followed him through his career in television plays and movies.

    It’s a shame that Billie Whitelaw is not well known in the United States. She’s been a major stage actress in England, and made a number of films, with her best roles being in Charlie Bubbles and The Omen. Most importantly, she was Samuel Beckett’s muse for 25 years. She doesn’t have a formal education or formal theatrical training, but Beckett felt her instinctive style of acting was perfect for his vision. He wrote a number of experimental plays for her, and had her gruelingly act out the parts as he wrote. Examples of her acting are also on Youtube, especially Happy End and Rockabye. We saw her on stage at the National Theatre in London, alongside the great Michael Gambon, in the fascinating play Tales From Hollywood by Christopher Hampton. She was in her early 40s and played the vivacious wife of Heinrich Mann. In one scene she came on stage topless, carrying a tray filled with cocktails for a gathering of German expatriate intellectuals.

    Hope I haven’t been too boring.

    • Pat says:

      No, not at all but as someone who was sceptical about Andre Rieu initially I really love his music now, especially as he brings such happiness to so many people..there aren’t many people you can say that of nowadays, are there?

  6. Max says:

    oh that’s great! And the Disney guys. Just wanna link this Dylan thing that also makes feel so much.

  7. Mr. Lion says:

    To abuse the cliche– Well that escalated quickly. Superb.

  8. Sheila says:

    Ha! Perfect way to put it.

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