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Matthaeus Pipelare
Salve Regina
Huelgas Ensemble

“Swim away from me, do ye?” murmured Ahab, gazing over into the water. There seemed but little in the words, but the tone conveyed more of deep helpless sadness than the insane old man had ever before evinced. But turning to the steersman, who thus far had been holding the ship in the wind to diminish her headway, he cried out in his old lion voice,- “Up helm! Keep her off round the world!”

Round the world! There is much in that sound to inspire proud feelings; but whereto does all that circumnavigation conduct? Only through numberless perils to the very point whence we started, where those that we left behind secure, were all the time before us.

Were this world an endless plain, and by sailing eastward we could for ever reach new distances, and discover sights more sweet and strange than any Cyclades or Islands of King Solomon, then there were promise in the voyage. But in pursuit of those far mysteries we dream of, or in tormented chase of the demon phantom that, some time or other, swims before all human hearts; while chasing such over this round globe, they either lead us on in barren mazes or midway leave us whelmed.

Herman Melville, Moby Dick, Chapter 52.

Anon. (C12th)
'Stirps lesse'
The Hilliard Ensemble

Whichever stone you lift —
you lay bare
those who need the protection of stones:
naked,
now they renew their entwinement. 

Whichever tree you fell —
you frame 
the bedstead where 
souls are stayed once again,
as if this aeon too
did not 
tremble. 

Whichever word you speak - 
you owe to 
destruction. 

Paul Celan

Guillaume de Machaut
‘Veni creator spiritus’ motet
The Hilliard Ensemble

AN EYE, OPEN

Hours, Maycolor, cool.
What’s no more to be named, hot,
hearable in the mouth.

Nobody’s voice, again.
Aching depths of an eyeball:
the lid
does not block the way, the lash
does not count what enters.

The tear, half of it,
a sharper lens, nimble,
brings you images.

Paul Celan

Thomas Tallis
‘Gaude gloriosa’ motet, first part
The Tallis Scholars