Telarc Releases Soundtrack to New Woody Allen Film, Vicky Cristina Barcelona
Barcelona has long been considered one of the most romantic cities in the world – a place where the human heart has been known to explore new and uncharted territory, leaving any preconceptions about passion and romance forever changed. The city’s timeless mystique makes it the perfect setting for director Woody Allen’s newest film, Vicky Cristina Barcelona, a breezy romantic comedy starring Javier Bardem, Penélope Cruz and Scarlett Johansson.
Two young American women, Vicky (Rebecca Hall) and Cristina (Johansson) come to Barcelona for a summer holiday. Vicky is sensible and engaged to be married; Cristina is emotionally and sexually adventurous. In Barcelona, they’re drawn into a series of unconventional romantic entanglements with Juan Antonio (Bardem), a charismatic painter, who is still involved with his tempestuous ex-wife, Maria Elena (Cruz). Set against the luscious Mediterranean sensuality of Barcelona, Vicky Cristina Barcelona is Woody Allen’s funny and open-minded celebration of love in all its configurations.
The film’s eclectic mix of music reflects the storyline’s passionate yet lighthearted tone. The bouncy, Spanish-sung title song, “Barcelona,” was written and recorded by Giulia y los Tellarini, a little-known indie band from Barcelona. Acting on a whim, the girlfriend of one of the band members sent a copy of the band’s first album, Eusibio, to Allen at his hotel during the shooting of Vicky Cristina Barcelona. “I must admit that the second I heard it,” says Allen, “I knew it was perfect for my film.”
Initial attempts by Allen’s management to contact the band via their MySpace page were met with skepticism. “I thought it was a joke,” said lead singer Giulia Tellarini in a recent Billboard interview. “I didn’t think something like this could happen.” Giulia y los Tellarini’s other contribution to the soundtrack is the more pensive and sultry “La Ley Del Retiro,” also from Eusibio.
As might be expected from a collection of Spanish music, instrumental guitar pieces make up the lion’s share of the soundtrack. Guitarist Juan Serrano, whose reputation as a flamenco virtuoso spans six decades, delivers the churning and complex “Gorrión” early in the set, followed much later by the equally intricate closer, “Entre Olas.”
Other noteworthy performers include Paco de Lucia, whose “Entre Dos Aguas” opens with a simple and casual guitar/percussion arrangement that eventually segues into something much more fiery and ambitious, and Emilio de Benito, who gives a thoughtful reading of the Isaac Albeniz guitar classic, “Granada.”
The Biel Ballester Trio creates an infectious chugging guitar rhythm on “When I Was a Boy,” but later takes a more melodic approach on “Your Shining Eyes.” In contrast, Juan Quesada’s smooth, easygoing “Asturias” is just this side of hypnotic.
“I knew I wanted Spanish music for Vicky Cristina Barcelona, but I didn’t know any Spanish music,” says Allen. “I nosed around and picked up a few stray items here and there, and by compiling the tunes of a few known players and composers with the tunes of relative unknowns, found myself with one of the most lovely scores in all of my films. It’s an eclectic mix, to be sure, but mostly Spanish and reflecting the feeling of Spain – or certainly Barcelona as I’ve portrayed it.”