- Eliot’s poems & Beethoven’s music
John Farrell, Beyond illuminating the musical dimension of Four Quartets and the philosophical dimension of the late string quartets, the juxtaposition of Eliot’s poetry and Beethoven’s music reveals a whole that is much greater than the sum of its parts. In bringing together Eliot’s poems and Beethoven’s music we are not seeking to identify and label their analogous components, but rather to give space for listeners to devise their own understanding of the varied and elusive relationships between the two.
John’s recitation of “Four Quartets” affords audiences a rare opportunity to immerse themselves in the poem’s extraordinary musicality and spiritual power.
“It’s difficult to imagine that anyone could walk away unmoved or unchanged by this performance. We come to understand that we’re watching someone who’s been on an amazing journey through the landscape of Eliot’s text and then returned to this room – come back to invite us to venture forth with him. That’s an unbelievably generous gesture, and I think the audience understands this and responds accordingly.”
An evening of poetry is the performer’s ultimate challenge. And an evening of T.S. Eliot’s poetry is the ultimate challenge’s ultimate challenge. Farrell not only meets the challenges, he opens the text in ways beyond the ability of the solitary reader. He does not act. He does not impersonate. He presents the words seriously, intelligently, and respectfully. He give the words space to work.”
“Farrell’s performance is not only technically flawless, but also deeply moving, as he transforms himself into an instrument through which Eliot’s poetry can pour and embody itself, a cry from one human to another.”