Tenebrae Responsorie is scored for vocal octet and speaks to all of every faith and none, of the power of love and redemption through personal sacrifice.

Tenebrae is full of the instantly recognisable stylistic colours that are MacMillan hallmarks such as his use of ornamentation, placed on rather than before the beat, in the style of the Celtic folk tradition. Cappella Nova has enjoyed a twenty five year association with MacMillan; many premiere performances later the choir has established an intuitive response to his work and a passion for his creativity which is clearly evident.