Love, 1916

Genre: Choral

Mood: Tragic

Forces: Female voice, SSA, Harp

Length: 5 Minutes


Love, 1916 (2006) – Setting of May W Cannan. SSA & harp, soprano solo, 4’.

May W Cannan’s poem is used by kind permission of her granddaughter, Clara Abrahams.

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Sung live by The Thursday Choir, directed by Sue Wight, with Danielle Perrett, harp, the solo part sung by Fiona Wight.


Love, 1916

One said to me, ‘Seek Love, for he is Joy
Called by another name’.
A Second said, ‘Seek Love, for he is Power
Which is called Fame’.
Last said a Third, ‘Seek Love, his name is Peace’.
I called him thrice,
And answer came, ‘Love now
Is christened Sacrifice’.

- May Wedderburn Cannan, 1896-1973, volunteer nurse in WWI

From An die Soldaten des Grosses Krieges:

Genug der blutbadenden Feindschaft und Mordehre
(Enough of this hateful bloodbath and sanctified murder.)

- Gerrit Engelke, born Hanover 1890, died from wounds 12 October 1918

From Heureux Ceux:

Heureux les épis mûrs et les blés moissonés
(Blessed are the ripe wheat and the harvested corn)

- Charles Péguy, born Orléans 1873, died in action 5 September 1914

From Radosti Života:

Života čiši jsem naklonil ke rtu
Piju z ní smutek a bolest a zmar.

(The goblet of life I tilt to my lips
And I drink from it sadness, pain and failure.

- František Gellner, born Prague 1881, declared missing 13 September 1914

Translations by the composer. Thanks to Mischa Kelly for help with translation and advice on Czech pronunciation.


First performance:
31 March 2007, The Thursday Choir dir Sue Wight, Danielle Perrett (harp), Fiona Wight (soprano), Tudeley, Kent.