O my brave soul, farther, farther sail !

Closing, here are two great pieces:

 - one traditional, Vaughan Williams’s A Sea Symphony, using Walt Whtiman’s poetry

 - one beyond, Constance Demby’s Novus Magnificat: Through the Stargate,

1 - There are many great recordings of Vaughan Williams’ Sea Symphony. 
              I chose this one for the excellent accompanying images. :

Here is Walt Whitman’s text as used by Ralph Vaughan Williams :

IV. The Explorers

Chorus

O vast Rondure, swimming in space!
Covered all over with visible power and beauty!
Alternate light and day, and the teeming, spiritual darkness,
Unspeakable high processions of sun and moon, and countless stars, above, 
Below, the manifold grass and waters,

With inscrutable purpose—some hidden, prophetic intention;
Now, first, it seems my thought begins to span thee.

Down from the gardens of Asia descending,
Adam and Eve appear, then their myriad progeny after them,
Wandering, yearning—with restless explorations,
With questionings, baffled, formless, feverish—with never-happy hearts,
With that sad incessant refrain,

    Wherefore unsatisfied soul?

    Whither O mocking life?

Ah, who shall soothe these feverish children?
Who justify these restless explorations?
Who speak the secret of the impassive Earth?

    Wherefore unsatisfied soul?

    Whither O mocking life?

Yet soul be sure the rst intent remains—and shall be carried out;
(Perhaps even now the time has arrived.)
After the seas are all crossed,
After the great captains have accomplished their work,

After the noble inventors,
Finally shall come the Poet, worthy that name,
The true Son of God shall come, singing his songs.

Soprano & Baritone

O we can wait no longer!
We too take ship, O Soul,
Joyous, we too launch out on trackless seas!
Fearless, for unknown shores, on waves of ecstasy to sail,
Amid the wafting winds, (thou pressing me to thee, I thee to me, O Soul),
Caroling free—singing our song of God,
Chanting our chant of pleasant exploration.

O Soul, thou pleasest me—I thee;
Sailing these seas, or on the hills, or walking in the night,
Thoughts, silent thoughts, of Time, and Space, and Death, like water flowing,
Bear me, indeed, as though regions infinite,
Whose air I breathe, whose ripples hear—lave me all over,
Bathe me, O God, in thee—mounting to thee,
I and my soul to range in range of thee.

Soloists & Chorus

O thou transcendent!
Nameless, the fibre and the breath!
Light of the light—shedding forth universes—thou centre of them!

Baritone

Swiftly I shrivel at the thought of God,
At Nature and its wonders, Time and Space and Death,
But that I, turning, call to thee, O Soul, thou actual Me,
And lo! thou gently masterest the orbs,
Thou matest Time, smilest content at Death,
And llest, swellest full the vastnesses of Space.

Chorus

Greater than stars or suns,
Bounding, O Soul, thou journeyest forth;

Soloists & Chorus

Away, O Soul! Hoist instantly the anchor!
Cut the hawsers—haul out—shake out every sail!

Sail forth! steer for the deep waters only!
Reckless, O Soul, exploring, I with thee, and thou with me;
For we are bound, where mariner has not yet dared to go,
And we will risk the ship, ourselves and all.

O my brave Soul!
O farther, farther sail!
O darling joy, but safe! Are they not all the seas of God?
O farther, farther, farther sail! 

___________________________________

And 2 - Constance Demby’s:   Novus Magnificat: Through the Stargate
                    all improvised at the keyboard in 1985 
                    she takes us literally from Bach, through Vivaldi, to the stars:


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© Gareth Harris 2016       --------        Contact email: garethharris@mac.com        --------         see also: GarethHarris.com