(1920/1) continues in the musical dialect of Cants Mágics
but now strange signposts head each piece to illuminate our path of perception—although these mottos are more like the light of flickering candles in their obscurity. They are literally ‘spells’ which are conjured up for specific purposes: ‘to alleviate suffering’ … ‘to penetrate the soul’ … ‘to inspire love’ … ‘to effect a cure’ … ‘to evoke an image of the past’ … ‘to call up joy’. According to Antonio Inglesias, the composer had not yet met the poet Paul Valéry, and did not know his poems of the same name, although these latter were published around the same time.
from notes by Stephen Hough © 1997