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Illustrated talk by Richard Gill
In the centenary year of the start of the first world war, Richard Gill looks at how poets, novelists, musicians and artists have presented the misfortunes of war through pictures of the fallen or the discharged soldier.
Beethoven's Ode to Joy played on authentic instruments will be played during the interval.
Richard Gill is one of Leicester’s best known local historians. A former head of English at Wyggeston Boys’ School and frequent lecturer and broadcaster on local history, he is also an Honorary Fellow in History at the University of Leicester and President of the Leicester Group of the Victorian Society. He is the author of The Book of Leicester – essential reading for anyone interested in the city’s history. His other books include Leicester in Camera and Walks around Victorian Leicester.
Ode to Joy (or Hymn to Joy) is the English translation of the German song "Ode an die Freude" composed by the poet Friedrich Schiller in 1785. It describes the ideal of humanity united in joy and friendship, in a rather overstated way.
The hymn is best known for its musical setting by Ludwig van Beethoven in the final movement of his Ninth Symphony, for four solo voices, chorus, and orchestra. The hymn was adopted as the Anthem of Europe by the Council of Europe in 1972, and subsequently the European Union.