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Matthew Best

Director

Matthew Best

Matthew studied at Kings College, Cambridge, and at the National Opera Studio, and in 1982 won the Decca-Kathleen Ferrier Prize. At the outset of his career, he sang as a principal bass with The Royal Opera, Covent Garden, and as a guest with many other companies, and in recent years he has moved into the bass-baritone and Heldenbariton repertory. This process reached a significant landmark when he sang the role of Wotan/The Wanderer in Scottish Opera's new production of Der Ring des Nibelungen, first seen at the Edinburgh International Festival.

Other engagements have included Kurwenal Tristan und Isolde with La Monnaie, Don Pizarro Leonore under Gardiner at the Proms, Salzburg Festival, Concertgebouw, Amsterdam and the Lincoln Center Festival, New York; Swallow Peter Grimes for ROH; Siegfried and Die Walkure and Orest Elektra in Stuttgart; Wotan Siegfried Opera de Lyon; the title role in The Flying Dutchman, Opera de Rouen; Vairochana in the world premiere production of Jonathan Harvey's Wagner Dream in Luxembourg, Amsterdam and Paris; Peneios Daphne for his debut with Santa Fe Opera, followed by Tsargo Adrianna Mater in 2008; Scarpia Tosca, Amfortas Parsifal, Kurwenal, Don Pizarro Fidelio for Scottish Opera; Count Walter Luisa Miller and Scarpia for Opera North; Wotan The Rhinegold, Ramfis Aida, Swallow Peter Grimes, King Marke Tristan und Isolde, Jochanaan Salome for English National Opera; Cadmus The Bassarids at the Chatelet, Paris and in Cologne; Jochanaan and Mr. Flint Billy Budd with LSO/Richard Hickox; and Pizarro Fidelio (concert performances) with both the CBSO and the Swedish Chamber Orchestra. On concert platform he has sung The Dream of Gerontius, Beethoven 9, Shostakovich 14, Elijah, the Verdi Requiem, Berlioz's L'Enfance du Christ, and Mahler 8 with orchestras in the UK and Europe.

His various recordings include Beethoven's Leonore, Berlioz' L'enfance du Christ, Britten's Billy Budd and Peter Grimes, Elgar's The Dream of Gerontius, Falla's El Retablo di Maese Pedro, Menotti's Martin's Lie and Rossini's Il barbiere di Siviglia.

Matthew also gained a high reputation in conducting, of which include his long-standing association with The Corydon Orchestra and Singers, of which he is founder and artistic director. His many notable recordings with them include highly acclaimed performances of Bruckner's Masses and Te Deum, Berlioz' L'Enfance du Christ and Vaughan Williams' opera Hugh the Drover. His guest conducting includes appearances with the English Chamber Orchestra, BBC National Orchestra of Wales, the Northern Sinfonia, London Mozart Players, City of London Sinfonia, Royal Seville Symphony Orchestra, the RTE Concert Orchestra, The Manchester Camerata and The Hanover Band (where he was Principal Conductor for the 1998/99 season).

Engagements in 09/10 season include Pizzaro Fidelio in concert with the Rotterdam Philharmonic and Valery Gergiev, Sparafucile Rigoletto, Messiah with the Orquesta Sinfonica de Gran Canaria, Peneios Daphne for Oper Frankfurt and La Roche Capriccio for Grange Park Opera.

Discography

Displaying 1-4 of 4 items.


Corydon Singers : Benjamin Britten : 00  1 CD : Matthew Best : Benjamin Britten : CDH55307

Corydon Singers : Benjamin Britten

Review: In the catalogue of Britten's compositions those involving a chorus, often without instrumental or orchestral accompaniment loom large. They stretch right across his working life, beginning in 1929 and ending in the Op 95 his last completed score finished a few months before his death. The four pieces recorded here belong in the first half of that period, the earliest of them dates from 1933, the latest from 1949, perhaps his most productive period. Mathew Best, as usual, does a wonderful job bringing these works to life.

Songlist: Rejoice In The Lamb, A Wedding Anthem, Festival Te Deum, A Boy Was Born

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8671c 00 1 CD $11.95 English Choral CDs


Corydon Singers : Leonard Bernstein Chicester Psalms : 00  1 CD : Matthew Best : Leonard BernsteinCopeland, Aaron : CDA 66219

Corydon Singers : Leonard Bernstein Chicester Psalms

Review: This recording features choral works by some of the great American composers. The Corydon Singers, led by Matthew Best sing Leonard Bernstein's "Chichester Psalms," Aaron Copland's "In the Beginning" and three motets and Samuel Barber's "Agnus Dei." The "Chichester Psalms," originally orchestrated, are accompanied by organ, harp and percussion with boy soprano Dominic Martelli. Copland's "In the Beginning" for soprano solo and unaccompanied chorus features mezzo-soprano Catherine Denley. Barber's "Agnus Dei" is a choral arrangement of his much loved "Adagio for Strings." The music on this recording is beautifully sung by a great choir.

Songlist: Chichester Palms, Psalm 108, verse 2 - Psalm 100, Psalm 23, verses 1-4, Psalm 2, verses 1-4, Psalm 23, verses 5, 6, Psalm 131, Psalm 133, verse 1, Agnus Dei , In the Beginning , Three Motets (Aaron Copland):, Help us, O Lord, Have mercy on us, O my Lord, Sing ye praises to our King

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7154c 00 1 CD $16.98 English Choral CDs


Corydon Singers : Rachmaninov Vespers : 00  1 CD : Matthew Best : Sergey Rachmaninov : CDA 66460

Corydon Singers : Rachmaninov Vespers

Review: The Corydon Singers' recording of Rachmaninov's Vespers is extremely moving and beautifully sung. Conducted by Matthew Best with soloists Joya Logan, alto and John Bowen, tenor, it is an outstanding version. The choir has a very warm and rich sound, especially from the basses. This piece requires an enormous range of color from the more introverted "Blagoslovi, dushe moya" to the wildly joyful "Khvalite imya Gospodi." This performance is one of the finest interpretations of this piece.

Songlist: All-Night Vigil (Vsenoshchnoe Bdenie 'Vespers' Op 37), Priidite poklonimsya (O Come let us worship), Blagoslovi, dushe moya (Bless the Lord O my soul), Blazhen muzh (Blessed in the man), Svete tikhii (O gladsome light), Nyne otpushchaeshi (Lord, now lettest Thou Thy servant depart), Bogoroditse Devo (Hail, O Virgin Mother of God), Shestopsalmie: Slava v Vyshnikh Bogu (Hexapsalmos: Glory to God in the Highest), Khvalite imya Gospodne (The Polieley), Praise ye the name of the Lord), Blagosloven esi, Gospodi (Blessed art Thouh, O Lord), Voskresenie Khristovo (We have seen the Resurrection), Velichit dusha moya (My soul doth magnify the Lord), Slavoslovie velikoe: Slava v Vyshnikh Bogu (Great Doxology: Glory to God in the highest), Tropar: Dnes spasenie (Troparion: Today is salvation come), Tropar: Voskres iz groba (Troparion: Being risen from the tomb), Vzbrannoy voevode (O victorious leader)

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7184c 00 1 CD $16.98 English Choral CDs


Corydon Singers : Tchaikovsky - Liturgy of St John Chrysostom : 00  1 CD : Matthew Best : Tchaikovsky, Peter : CDA 66948

Corydon Singers : Tchaikovsky - Liturgy of St John Chrysostom

Review: "There is nothing like entering a church on a Saturday, standing in the semi-darkness with the scent of incense wafting through the air, lost in deep contemplation searching for an answer to those perennial questions, wherefore, when, whither and why?" These words, from one of Tchaikovsky's own letters, sum up the spirit behind the glorious Liturgy of St John Chrysostom, Op 41. The work is steeped in the Orthodox tradition, the choral writing provides that sense of transparency and simplicity demanded by the text, and the resulting ambience is rich in the manner familiar to Western listeners from works such as Rachmaninov's Vespers. This recording also includes ten choruses to texts many of which are taken from the Liturgy. The first nine were published together in 1885, while the tenth, An angel crying, was lost shortly after its first performance in 1887 and only rediscovered thirteen years after the composer's death.

Songlist: Nine Sacred Choruses 1884/5:, Izhe kherumvimy - Cherubic Hymn in F major, Izhe kherumvimy - Cherubic Hymn in D major, Izhe kherumvimy - Cherubic Hymn in C major, Tebe poem - We praise you, Dostoyno est - Hymn to the Mother of God, Otche nash - Our Father, Blazhenni yazhe izbral - Blessed are they, Da ispravitsya - Let My Prayer, Nyne sily nebesnyya - Now the powers of Heaven, Angel vopiyashe - The angel cried, Liturgy of St John Chrysostom, Op 41 1878:, Slava Otsu, i Synu - Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, - Priidite, poklonimsya - Come, let us worship, Izhe kherumvimy - Cherubic Hymn, Veruyu - The Creed, Milost mira - A mercy of peace, Tebe poem - We praise you, Dostoyno est - Hymn to the Mother of God, Otche nash - Our Father, Khvalite Gospoda - Praise the Lord, Blagosloven gradyy - Blessed is he who comes

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7153c 00 1 CD $16.98 Russian a cappella

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