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Proms Literary Festival - Schiller

Rana Mitter discusses Friedrich Schiller's great work Ode to Joy, famously set to music by Beethoven in his Ninth Symphony, with Billy Bragg, Peter Oswald and David Constantine.

Rana Mitter is joined by singer-songwriter Billy Bragg, verse playwright Peter Oswald and poet David Constantine to discuss Friedrich Schiller's Ode to Joy, famously set to music by Beethoven in his 9th Symphony which will be performed as part of tonight's Prom.

Both Schiller and Beethoven saw Europe torn apart by war and revolution. Our guests tonight discuss how the optimism of the Ode to Joy, Friedrich Schiller's great work on unity and brotherhood, is tempered by an anxiety about the realities of war. The sentiments of the poem have a continuing universal appeal - it was performed by Leonard Bernstein to celebrate the fall of the Berlin Wall, has become the anthem of the European Union, and Billy Bragg created a version to be sung by choirs of English schoolchildren.

Rana Mitter and guests explore different versions of the Ode to Joy in a Proms Literary Festival programme recorded in front of an audience at the Royal College of Music.

Producer: Allegra McIlroy.

20 minutes

Broadcast

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