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)
Next concert - 4th March 2017 19:30, St John the Evangelist, Iffley Road, Oxford
Commotio join forces for the first time with Oxfordshire's A440 Chamber Orchestra to present a concert of sublime music from the British Isles. Widely admired as one of MacMillan's finest achievements, his Seven Last Words from the Cross promises an absorbing and moving experience in concert, for performers and audience alike. The cantata follows Christ's final utterances at the Crucifixion, meditating on each to form a dramatic and emotional sequence. The traditional text of the Seven Last Words from the Cross is based on a compilation from all four gospels to form a sequential presentation of the last seven sentences uttered by Christ (in English and Latin). The work was commissioned by BBC Television and broadcast in seven nightly episodes during Holy Week of 1994.
Introduction and Allegro for Strings, Op. 47, was composed in 1905 for performance in an all-Elgar concert by the newly formed London Symphony Orchestra. Scored for string quartet and string orchestra, Elgar composed it to show off the players' virtuosity.
Richard Allain presents a beautifully sombre and gentle setting of the Salve Regina. Allain's close harmonies are set across a staggered texture, creating a seamless continuous halo of sound with each syllable melding into the next. The effect is developed as the density of the music builds, allowing each singer a level of metric freedom that allows a series of repeating phrases to blur into an undulating layer of sound against which the lower voices sing.
40 years after her death, A440 will perform Grace Williams's Calm Sea in Summer, from Sea Sketches for String Orchestra, written whilst she was living in London during World War II. One of her most evocative works, it surely recalls the coastline of her beloved Barry, where she returned in 1947.