Path of Miracles (2015)

Talbot

Conspirare

Craig Hella Johnson

Spain’s Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela is one of the revered “thin places” of the world, a shrine where the border between earth and heaven is felt to disappear. Since the ninth century, pilgrims have followed an ancient route leading from France to the cathedral shrine holding the body of St. James (Santiago) and extending beyond to Finisterre, “the end of the earth” on the western coast of Spain. British composer Joby Talbot’s a cappella Path of Miracles evokes four of the major staging posts on the route as an expression of the individual pilgrim’s experience.
Path of Miracles is written in seventeen separate vocal parts, with occasional crotales (small, pitched cymbals). The score includes optional stage directions for movement of the singers during the piece. Nigel Short’s ensemble Tenebrae commissioned and recorded it in 2005. The four locations depicted, which Talbot visited in preparation for the composition, are the convergence of the roads leading from France at Roncesvalles, the cathedral cities of Burgos and León, and Santiago de Compostela itself.
The text by Robert Dickinson (b. 1962) includes quotations from the Bible and from medieval sources. It emphasizes both the physical and spiritual progress of the pilgrim, referring to the multitude of stories of saints, miracles, and traditions associated with the route. It evokes shrines to pilgrim-martyrs, ancient hospices, the pilgrim’s passport, and the symbolic burning of a piece of clothing at Finisterre to symbolize renunciation of the pilgrim’s old li

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Conspirare

Conspirare Company of Voices, based in Austin, Texas, is recognized as one of the country’s premier choral ensembles. Comprised of professional singers from around the United States, Conspirare combines outstanding vocal artistry with innovative programming, creating a uniquely dynamic choral art. Under the leadership of Artistic Director Craig Hella Johnson, the ensemble has received rave reviews and national acclaim including two Grammy nominations for its release Requiem, as well as the 2005 Margaret Hillis Award for Choral Excellence, presented by Chorus America. In addition to an annual concert series held in Austin and other Texas cities, Conspirare has toured the San Francisco Bay Area and performed at Carnegie Hall and Lincoln Center in New York as part of the national convention of the American Choral Directors Association. In 2008, Conspirare was the only choir from the United States invited to perform at the Eighth World Symposium on Choral Music in Copenhagen. Other Conspirare releases include through the green fuse (2004) and a collection of works by British composer Tarik O’Regan entitled Threshold of Night (2008) which was Conspirare’s inaugural release for harmonia mundi usa.

Craig Hella Johnson

Craig Hella Johnson is the founding Artistic Director of Conspirare. He has earned a reputation as one of the finest choral conductors in the United States. His performances are consistently praised for their musical integrity and depth of artistry and have drawn national acclaim. In addition to presenting works from the choral classics, Craig Hella Johnson continues to explore the relationship and interconnectedness of various musical styles; blending classical and popular, sacred and secular. In addition to his work with Conspirare, he is Music Director Laureate and Conductor for the Victoria Bach Festival. Guest conducting engagements include the Austin Symphony, San Antonio Symphony, Chicago’s Music of the Baroque, the Berkshire Choral Festival and the St. Olaf Choir.

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Path of Miracles (2015)

Talbot

Conspirare

    WQXR

Imagine a site, a portal, where the boundary of another dimension is nothing more than a gauzy curtain or a thin door. This spiritually and physically-demanding quest is the source of British composer Joby Talbot’s rousing Path of Miracles, exquisitely realized here by the chorus Conspirare and conductor Craig Hella Johnson. With its preponderance of open intervals and sustained pedals, Path of Miracles demands sterling intonation and lithe tone, and Johnson and Conspirare effectively navigate both with poise. This is a journey we plan to lace up for, again and again.

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Path of Miracles (2015)

Talbot

Conspirare

Producer: Brad Michel
Recording Engineer: Robina G. Young
Recording location: St. Martin's Lutheran Church, Austin Texas
Recording Software: Merging
Recording Type & Bit Rate: DSD64

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807603DI: Path of Miracles
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Tracks.
1.
Path of Miracles - I. Roncesvalles
Talbot
00:17:59   Select quality & channels above
2.
Path of Miracles - II. Burgos
Talbot
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3.
Path of Miracles - III. Leon
Talbot
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4.
Path of Miracles - IV. Santiago
Talbot
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