At First Light

NAXOS, 8.573976

‘Every now and then you hear a new work and feel that excitement, the knowledge that here is a piece that is going to become part of the landscape. Rooted in tradition but with a voice of its own, immediately appealing but refusing to reveal everything at first listen, Francis Pott’s At First Light – recorded here for the first time by the Oxford-based chamber choir Commotio – is one such piece.’

Alexandra Coghlan, Gramophone, September 2020

This long-awaited disc went on global release on 10th July 2020.

Word (2012) is a commissioned meditation (chorus and organ) on the significance of the Gospels in a postmodern age, interspersing verses from St John’s Prologue (NRSV) with five poems of R. S. Thomas, including ‘The Bright Field’, for which this cover image was well chosen by Naxos.

At First Light (2018) is a commissioned semi-secular Requiem (chorus and cello solo), setting passages from the Latin Mass for the Dead, Biblical and Psalm texts, poetry by Alun Lewis, Thomas Blackburn and Wendell Berry and prose by Kahlil Gibran. Six slow meditations frame an exuberant 9-minute central motet in eight parts.

Both these performances are wholly exceptional, and the solo instrumental parts are superbly played, with peerlessly expressive artistry from the cellist Joseph Spooner and mercurial virtuosity from the organist Christian Wilson. The disc has been magnificently recorded and produced by Adrian Lucas of Acclaim Productions. This release promises to be a major event in the history of modern British sacred choral music