Founded in 1999 and based in Oxford, the 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.
Interested in joining? Contact us to arrange an audition
"I defy anyone to sing better than Commotio!" (Bob Chilcott, Composer)
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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
"This is a most enjoyable disc, full of attractive and entertaining music...The jazz musicians are slick, tight and professional. Their contributions seem right on the money to me. As for the singing of Commotio, it’s consistently fine...The choir is disciplined and well-balanced and diction is very good. It’s clear that they’ve been expertly trained by Matthew Berry who on this occasion shares the conducting duties with Bob Chilcott...Buy this disc to blow away the cobwebs and put a smile on your face." John Quinn, Music Web International Presto Classical, October 2017
"Is it jazz? Is it classical? Does it matter? Yes, maybe, and no, are probably the answers. More importantly , this CD swings, and is thoroughly enjoyable...The Blake-inspired Jazz Songs of Innocence...finds the women of Commotio in zesty voice, neatly nailing the syncopations in the faster numbers, and distilling considerable poignancy in The Divine Image...Of the shorter pieces the unaccompanied Weather Report provides the Commotio singers the opportunity to show their paces technically, and they turn in an appropriately dashing performance." Terry Blain, BBC Music Magazine, November 2017 (Performance 4-stars, Recording 4-stars)
"On the one hand you have a master of melody, and on the other a writer of jazz idioms that hark back to the early days of the King's Singers...Underpinning this is a formidable choral writer. Chilcott's music may be popular and audience friendly, but that in no way diminishes the compositional strength of his unaccompanied works such as Marriage to My Lady Poverty, Thou, my love, art fair, and the humorous Weather Report...Commotio are no strangers to the composer's music and give very persuasive performances." Shirley Ratcliffe, Choir & Organ, November/December 2017 (4-stars)
Next concert - Saturday 10th March 2018 19:30, St John the Evangelist, 109A Iffley Road, Oxford OX4 1EH
Commotio and Matthew Berry invite you to join them on an exploration of Love in its many forms this Lent season. From the visceral longing of Rossi's 'O miseria d'amante' (a rare departure from Commotio's contemporary repertoire) to the filial love of Marten Jansson's 'Far' this promises to be a concert of evocative, beautiful music. Macmillan's setting of the traditional Lenten text 'Miserere' combines drama and beauty with marvellous word setting, and use of harmonised chant. Maw's setting of Muir's 'One foot in Eden, still I stand' perfectly depicts the longing for a lost paradise, felt so strongly by the poet. Commotio will also perform Holst's 'Evening Watch' alongside its lesser known companion piece 'Sing me the men'.
Commotio will perform the premiere of Francis Pott's 'They that put their trust in the Lord ', a sensitive setting commissioned by Valerie and Helen Jefferies, displaying the mellifluous and complex harmonies for which Pott is renowned.