A Recitation of T. S. Eliot’s Four Quartets
by John Farrell
A Performance of Beethoven’s
String Quartet in A Minor, Opus 132
by the DaPonte String Quartet
This unique program — a recitation from memory of T. S. Eliot’s poetic masterwork together with a performance of the Beethoven string quartet that inspired Eliot’s poem — offers audiences a truly once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to experience in close succession the crowning artistic achievements of these peerless masters.
John Farrell will perform T. S. Eliot’s Four Quartets on Tuesday, February 11 at 7 p.m. in the Strider Theater, Runnals Building, Colby College in Waterville. With rarely granted permission of the T. S. Eliot Estate, John committed to memory the 886 lines of Four Quartets and now tours internationally with his recitation of Eliot’s epic poem. An unquestioned masterpiece of 20th-century literature, Four Quartets is a complex, deeply moving meditation on time, memory, and human striving toward the divine.
Eliot completed Four Quartets in 1941, as Britain slid into the abyss of World War II, and he feared that civilization itself might perish in the coming years. Writing at the height of his artistic powers, Eliot packed into Four Quartets a summation of his views on poetry and art, on mystical experience, and on humankind’s relationship to history and time.
John’s recitation of Four Quartets affords audiences an opportunity to immerse themselves in these gorgeous lines of poetry, spoken from memory, and renew their understanding of one of the 20th century’s most exceptional poets.
He will be joined by the DaPonte String Quartet who will be performing Beethoven’s String Quartet in A Minor, Opus 132, alternating recited verse and music.
This event is co-sponsored by Colby College Department of English, Department of Music, Department of Religious Studies, and the Cultural Events Committee.
Words Move – Music Moves is free and open to the public. Tickets are available through the Department of Theater and Dance website – www.colby.edu/theaterdance – or at the door prior to the performance.