Lunchtime Classics ’11-12 No. 2

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Date(s) - November 15, 2011
12:00 PM - 1:00 PM

Gothic Reading Room


Free & open to the public (tickets required)

BEETHOVEN: String Quartet No. 15 in A Minor, Op. 132
T.S. ELIOT: Four Quartets

This special concert surveys two towering monuments of Western art. First, Duke’s Ciompi Quartet performs Beethoven’s magisterial String Quartet Op. 132. After intermission, Duke Professor George Gopen reads one of his specialties: T.S. Eliot’s “Four Quartets,” one of the greatest poems in English since Shakespeare.

As his health faltered, Beethoven produced an emotionally complex fifteenth quartet anchored in a third movement of hymn-like gravity, which was a major inspiration for Eliot’s “Four Quartets.” Both works divulge wonders on first encounter but only deepen over time, especially in the expert hands of Ciompi and Gopen. Together, they erase the line between the language of music and the music of language.