Founded in 1999, the Oxford-based choir Commotio performs contemporary choral music primarily from the 20th and 21st centuries showcasing works by younger or lesser-known composers. The choir is particularly recognised for its fine tuning, attention to detail and challenging repertoire. The name Commotio derives from the Latin for movement/excitement.
"I defy anyone to sing better than Commotio!" (Bob Chilcott, Composer)
Commotio's latest CD - available now! Recorded in September 2016, this disc represents the first recording of several new works for choir and jazz trio featuring Alexander Hawkins (piano), Raphael Mizraki (double bass), Jon Scott (drums), Sue Greenway (saxophone) and Bob Chilcott (piano). Order from Presto Classical (Click here), Colchester Classics (Click here), or through the choir (Click here).
Our live performance of 'Thou, my Love, art Fair', made during the recording sessions, can be viewed at the bottom of this page.
"There are a number of things about Commotio that I have always found compelling. Firstly, their sound: it is clear and mobile and I never tire of listening to it. Their sound is also consistent, even though the singers change from time to time. The choir work in a very detailed way with their conductor Matthew Berry who encourages honest, good music making with a real focus on intonation. They are an enabled, intelligent group who clearly love what they do." Bob Chilcott, Presto Classical, 11th September 2017
Next concert - Saturday 2nd December 2017 19:30, St John the Evangelist, 109A Iffley Road, Oxford OX4 1EH
Commotio invites you to start Advent with a superb concert of contemporary choral music. Pärt's Seven Magnificat-Antiphons were written for the RIAS Chamber Choir during the composer's residency in Berlin. During this time, he embraced setting German texts, a contrast to his earlier 'tintinnabuli' choral works which were predominantly set to Latin texts. Using the extremes of vocal range throughout the choir, Pärt invokes a sense of individuality for each antiphon with deceptive simplicity.
Grace Williams' Ave Maris Stella, arguably one of the most astounding and vocally acrobatic British choral works of the 20th century, perfectly evokes the ebb and flow of the sea, in a scintillating setting of this Marian hymn.
Staying true to its mission to promote the works of contemporary composers, Commotio is delighted to present the première of Stephen Montague's Poor baby Jesus, written for the choir and published in Cadenza Music's new anthology of contemporary carols, The Nativity Star. Rupert Jeffcoat's sensitive arrangements of Milhaud's O magnum mysterium and Beata viscera Mariae, from his Cinq Prières, give choral depth to works originally written for soprano and organ.
Several of the works to be performed were originally written for the Choir of King's College, Cambridge. Reminiscent of his earlier Five Carols, Bennett's Lullaby baby is a rarely heard treat, which has only recently been published. Rütti's setting of O nata lux de lumine was also commissioned for King's for the Advent Procession of 2016 and Richard Allain's Welcome all wonders was written for the Collegium Regale (The Gentlemen of the King's Choir). Commotio looks forward to seeing you for an evening of rarely-heard seasonal gems.