Durations c.15 mins
April is the cruellest month, breeding
Lilacs out of the dead land, mixing
Memory and desire, stirring
Dull roots with spring rain..
Hearing The Rite of Spring for the first time in London in June 1921 the experience had a profound impact on Eliot while he was composing The Waste Land and accounts for some of the poem’s lines, particularly the famous opening lines.
“The music seemed to transform the rhythm of the steppes into the scream of the motor-horn, the rattle of machinery, the grind of wheels, the beating of iron and steel, the roar of the underground railway, and the other barbaric noises of modern life.” T S ELIOT (1921)
The Steinway concert piano chosen and hired by the T S Eliot Estate is supplied and maintained by Steinway & Sons, London.
The Parish of St Vedast is known from the 12th century, and the church is traditionally claimed to have been established by 1170. It has been altered, enlarged and restored many times and probably rebuilt at least twice, the last time by Christopher Wren, after the Great Fire of London in 1666. Having been completely burnt out during the Blitz of World War II, the church was restored under the direction of its Rector, Canon Mortlock, and a very influential Parochial Church Council that included Poet Laureate John Betjeman and master organ builder, Noel Mander.