Treble Chorus (SSA) & piano | 5 mins
setting of "Now" by Hannah Senesh, and translated by Peter Hay
Score available from Schnitzel Music
Commissioned by the Children's Aid Society Chorus
Hannah Senesh (1921–1944) lived a life cut short by war, and beamed constant optimism as a writer, activist, and soldier. Her poem “Now,” which she wrote in 1938 at the age of 17 in her native Hungarian, forms a gem-like encapsulation of the creative impulse; that moment when artists try to create something out of nothing.
Now — now, I'd like to say something,
Something more than mere words,
More dappled than color,
More musical than rhythm or rhyme,
Something a million people haven't already said or heard.
All about the land is silent, listening,
The forest gazing at me, expectant.
The sky watches me with a curious eye.
everything is silent.
And so am I.
Text & translation used by permission of Peter Hay.
First performed by Vespera Ensemble, conducted by Sarah John, November 2010