March 8, 2016 REVIEW by Tim Smith of The Baltimore Sun
"Listening to the Talbot work unfold at the Baltimore Basilica, I got the distinct impression that this ensemble has become the cool chorus in town."
"Khaefi had the singers burrowing into the notes, from the out-of-the-depths rumblings in the first movement on through exquisitely harmonized passages in the third ...
ABOUT THE MUSIC
Path of Miracles is a 60-minute a cappella work inspired by the Camino de Santiago, or Way of St. James, the most enduring Roman Catholic pilgrimage and a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Working under a commission from the noted choral ensemble Tenebrae, Talbot composed on texts from the Roman Catholic liturgy, medieval manuscripts and other historic and cultural documents, woven together by contemporary Canadian poet Robert Dickinson.
The result evokes the extreme trials and profound ecstasies of a thousand-mile spiritual journey on foot to what is said to be the final resting place of St. James the Apostle. It also hints at the curious evolution of this rich multicultural legend: while firmly grounded in the European choral tradition, Path of Miracles is sung in seven languages and incorporates vocal styles from around the world. After its premiere in 2005, Path of Miracles quickly developed a reputation for mesmerizing singers and audiences alike.
Path of Miracles texts, translations and more from the liner notes from the 2006 debut recording by the ensemble Tenebrae
Basilica of the National Shrine of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary in Baltimore, Maryland
The Camino de Santiago is made up of multiple routes from across Europe to Galicia in northwestern Spain. All paths meet at the Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela, which, legend has it, is the final resting place of St. James the Apostle.
After walking hundreds of miles to the shrine, many pilgrims continue on to Finisterre, the “end of the earth,” where it is said the walls of heaven are as thin as a curtain.
The Camino's popularity has exploded in recent years among both believers and non-believers and is the setting for The Way, a major motion picture directed by Emilio Estevez and starring his father, Martin Sheen (and inspired, in turn, by the 1990s travel memoir Off the Road: A Modern-Day Walk Down the Pilgrim's Route into Spain by Jack Hitt).
Click here to read the UNESCO declaration of the Routes of Santiago de Compostela as a World Heritage site, describing the site's "universal value" and its cultural and historical significance.
Click here for the website of the Confraternity of St. James, a U.K.-based charity that promotes the pilgrimage and provides information to help pilgrims plan and prepare for the journey. (Source of the panoramic images above).
Click here to learn more about composer Joby Talbot (photo below by Johan Perrson).
Artists and programming subject to change. No refunds.