Love's Choice
An a cappella setting for mixed chorus of a poem by Malcolm Guite.

Duration: 4' 15"
Difficulty: 4/5

Click here to view score.
Voicing/Instrumentation
VOICES

Mixed Chorus (a cappella, divisi, no solos)
Notes
"Love’s Choice was written by Malcolm Guite in response to the feast of Corpus Christi, and is published in the author’s collection of poems, Sounding the Seasons. Redford responds to the poetry with dreamy, other-worldly music characterised by dense chords and intricate part-writing, all of which combine to convey the mystical quality of Guite’s text." (Joanna Wyld, from the liner notes to the 2015 recording Let Beauty Be Our Memorial)
Text
Love's Choice
Malcolm Guite (1957- )

This bread is light, dissolving, almost air,
A little visitation on my tongue,
A wafer-thin sensation, hardly there.
This taste of wine is brief in flavour, flung
A moment to the palate’s roof and fled,
Even its aftertaste a memory.
Yet this is how He comes. Through wine and bread
Love chooses to be emptied into me.
He does not come in unimagined light
Too bright to be denied, too absolute
For consciousness, too strong for sight,
Leaving the seer blind, the poet mute;
Chooses instead to seep into each sense,
To dye himself into experience.

Copyright © 2012 by Malcolm Guite. All rights reserved. Used by permission.
Commission & Performance History
Love’s Choice was commissioned by the C. S. Lewis Foundation, and was premiered on 29 July 2014 in St. John’s College Chapel, Cambridge, at a concert for the Foundation’s Oxbridge 2014 Summer Institute. The following day, it was sung in King’s College Chapel as the anthem for the Closing Service of the Institute. John Dickson directed the C. S. Lewis Summer Institute Chorale. Later that year, it was recorded by Ben Parry, directing the St. Silas Singers, for the 2015 collection of choral music by J.A.C. Redford, Let Beauty Be Our Memorial.