THE distant sound of collected male voices singing in unison to a military drum signalled the start of this beautiful, thoughtful commemoration concert.

Built around parts of Lucy Pankhurst’s large-scale work, Voices from No Man’s Land, premiered this summer in Salisbury Cathedral and works by many different European composers from 1914; French, Austrian, Hungarian and English. The sumptuous playing of Nick Cooper on cello and Howard Moody caught the conciseness and rigor of this delicate music.

The male voices interspersed all the 1914 works, sometimes arranged in four different areas of the church or coming all together in the centre.

Pankhurst’s work sets texts in many different languages; English, German, French, Russian, Flemish, and there is something so emotive about the sound of massed male voices in the context of war songs and the mix of composers was perfectly chosen.

This music, also written in 1914 is so full of longing and nostalgia. The words are very simple and powerful.

Howard Moody declared he couldn’t have left the concert in 1914, so the final Tedworth House song, Not The Place But The People, ended the night, and the calypso blues feel was just right.

The audience even got to sing the final refrain too; “Reach in – reflect; reach out – connect”.

My concert companion thinks we will always have wars, due to human nature but I hope that at some time in our – perhaps distant – future we will be able to move on from death and destruction and make music together instead.

Sarah Collins