Joby Talbot’s Path of Miracles was the first major work commissioned by the professional vocal ensemble Tenebrae.
Founded by former King’s Singers member Nigel Short in 2000, Tenebrae’s members are drawn from the choirs of Westminster Abbey, King’s College Cambridge, and Britain’s two major opera houses. Talbot’s work was supposed to premiere in London on July 7, 2005 but was delayed because of the London subway bombings that day, which caused massive casualties. Ten days later, Path of Miracles received its premiere as part of the City of London Festival.
Talbot’s composition is based on the most enduring route of Catholic pilgrimage, the great Pilgrimage to Santiago; the four movement titles are the four main posts along the route (Roncesvalles, Burgos, León, and Santiago). Path of Miracles incorporates medieval texts and Roman Catholic liturgy and is sung in Greek, Latin, Spanish, Basque, French, English, and German. Candlelight and an imaginative use of the St. Francis of Assisi space guarantee a dramatic evening.