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Takács String Quartet & Meryl Streep


Friday, September 19, 2014, 7:30 PM EDT


Richardson Auditorium in Alexander Hall

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About the Event

Reading Philip Roth’s Everyman—a story described by The New York Times as “a multi-divorced advertising man grappling with family estrangement, illness and death”—Takács Quartet violinist Ed Dusinberre was struck by its “richly musical qualities.” Dusinberre was reminded of Schubert’s compelling rumination on his own mortality, Death and the Maiden. So, in an inspired concert at Carnegie Hall, the Takács paired a performance of the Schubert and moving works for string quartet by Arvo Pärt with readings from Everyman read by the late Philip Seymour Hoffman. Mr. Roth’s casting choice for the Princeton concert is both inspired and inevitable: Meryl Streep. “Of all of our American acting marvels, she is the most profound,” he told us. “To misappropriate a line from Othello, I would walk barefoot to Palestine to watch her perform.” We asked how the Princeton concert would differ from the previous one. “Since I have lengthened the narration for this performance,” he said, “I think the audience will get a fuller sense of the book’s preoccupation with assailability: with the accumulation of physical insults, the extinguishing of vitality, and the vulnerability inherent to living. The book is the story of a marked man. All are marked. Death marks everyone. To my mind the gravest line written in English between Chaucer and Shakespeare is this one from the medieval morality play, Everyman: ‘O Death, thou comest when I had thee least in mind.’” Responding to our question about his own deep connection to music, Mr. Roth replied, “The immediacy of the pleasure of music, its existence as a wholly other reality apart from the world of words, the way it fulfills some unknown need—well, I will miss it sorely when I’m gone.” You must not miss this unique collaboration among some of the most brilliant creative and interpretive artists of our time.


Princeton University Concerts is once again pleased to be collaborating with the Princeton Adult School.  Over the course of two evenings this Fall – September 15 and 16 – Professor Michael Wood, the Emeritus Charles Barnwell Straut Class of 1923 Professor of English and Comparative Literature at Princeton University, will explore the central themes of Philip Roth's novella Everyman.  On the second evening, Philip Roth will join the discussion via Skype, as will Edward Dusinberre, the first violinist of the Takács String Quartet.  Class participants are then invited to attend this performance on Friday, September 19.  Participants may attend the class on its own, or purchase tickets to the concert as part of the registration to the course.  Space in this class will be limited, especially to those who want to attend the concert.


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Readings from Philip Roth’s novella Everyman interspersed with works for string quartet by Arvo Pärt and Schubert

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