Corydon Singers

Founded by Matthew Best in 1973, Corydon Singers are now widely recognised as one of the foremost choirs in Britain. Their first recording, of Bruckner motets, was issued in 1983 and established them on the road to distinction. Their subsequent and numerous recordings, all for Hyperion, have consistently earned the approval of the press in Britain, Europe, the United States, Japan and elsewhere. Their 1990 recording of Vaughan William' s Serenade to Music and other works was selected as Record of the Year by both The Guardian and The Sunday Times, and was nominated for a Brit Award. Their recording of Rachmaninov's Vespers was chosen as the preferred version in BBC Radio 3's 'Building a Library' and their recording of Bruckner's Te Deum and Mass in D minor was selected as one of the top releases of 1993 by the BBC's Record Review. A great many of Corydon's recordings have reached the Gramophone Awards short list in the choral section and they have four times been runner-up: in 1984 with Howells's Requiem, 1990 with Vaughan Williams's Serenade, 1996 Berlioz's L'Enfance du Christ and in 1997 with Beethoven early cantatas.

Since leaving Cambridge where he was a Choral Scholar at King's College, Matthew Best has pursued a dual career as singer and conductor. He founded Corydon Singers when he was only sixteen and has been its Musical Director ever since. For the past ten years he has enjoyed a very fruitful association with Hyperion Records, resulting in many highly regarded recordings of 19th- and 20th-century music. These have included the Requiems of Fauré and Duruflé, the Rachmaninov Vespers and Liturgy of St John Crisostom, Britten's St Nicolas and several recordings of music by Bruckner and Vaughan Williams. His Bruckner series (which includes the three Masses, Psalms 112, 114 and 150, the Requiem, Motets and the Te Deum) was completed in 1993 in time for the 21st Anniversary season of Corydon Singers, and to celebrate their 21st birthday this year, Corydon Singers and Corydon Orchestra conducted by Matthew Best make their Proms debut. His recording of the Vaughan Williams Serenade to Music was voted 1990 Choral Record of the Year in both The Guardian and The Sunday Times, and several of his other recordings are now the established recommended versions.

Matthew Best also enjoys a successful career as a singer, appearing regularly on the concert platform throughout Europe, working with many of the world's leading conductors and orchestras. Between 1980 and 1986 he was a principal bass with the Royal Opera; he is also a regular guest artist with Opera North, Welsh National Opera and Netherlands Opera, and has sung with Glyndebourne Touring Opera and at the Alte Oper, Frankfurt. Recent singing engagements have included appearances at the Royal Festival Hall, Queen Elizabeth Hall and at the Proms.


Benjamin Britten

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

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.

8671 CD $11.95

Tchaikovsky - Liturgy of St John Chrysostom

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

"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.
7153 CD $16.98

Bernstein / Barber / Copland

Chichester Palms (Leonard Bernstein):
- 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 (Samuel Barber)
In the Beginning (Aaron Copland)
Three Motets (Aaron Copland):
- Help us, O Lord
- Have mercy on us, O my Lord
- Sing ye praises to our King

This recording features choral works by some of the great American composers. The Corydon Singers, led by Matthew Best sing Leonard Bernsteinıs "Chichester Psalms," Aaron Coplandıs "In the Beginning" and three motets and Samuel Barberıs "Agnus Dei." The ³Chichester Psalms,² originally orchestrated, are accompanied by organ, harp and percussion with boy soprano Dominic Martelli. Coplandıs "In the Beginning" for soprano solo and unaccompanied chorus features mezzo-soprano Catherine Denley. Barberıs "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.
7154 CD $15.98

Rachmaninov Vespers

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
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)

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.
7184 CD $16.98

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