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This CD presents world premiere recordings of two substantial pieces by Francis Pott. Scored for solo cello and choir, At First Light (2018) is an effective in memoriam piece, a series of meditations using an anthology of texts in which the solo cello provides a lyrical commentary on the sung texts. Word (2012) was conceived for the Merton Choirbook project marking the 750th anniversary of the founding of Merton College, Oxford. The work’s text juxtaposes St John’s Prologue with poetry by R.S. Thomas in a sequence devised by Nicholas Fisher, who commissioned the piece. Under their founder, Matthew Berry, Commotio show themselves to be fully committed in this pair of taxing works. Cleanly balanced and with impeccable intonation, the choir can be particularly admired in quieter passages. Just occasionally, for example in the exuberant central motet of At First Light, the recorded sound would seem to be too closely miked and something of the otherwise excellent blend is spoiled. A shout out for the fine playing of cellist Joseph Spooner and, in Word, organist Christian Wilson.

PHILIP REED Read the full review on Agora Classica


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