Christopher Best

composer ~ educator ~ performer ~ writer


 

Composing

"....mature and powerful work, able to portray the dark shadows of loss that can unexpectedly creep into even the most joyful moments in life...."
(Dance Europe)

Selected scores and recordings are now available for FREE DOWNLOAD. Scores are in high definition pdf format and recordings are high-quality MP3 files (@320kps).

Other compositions are available to purchase (with parts where appropriate). They are printed on high quality paper and attractively bound with centre staples. Please e-mail if you wish to buy any of these.


Categories:





Solo instrumental music:

EMERGENCE
(2016-2017)

 

Electric Guitar (with EBow and two Boss DD-20 Digital Delay Pedals)
First performance: Somextro Symposium, Falmouth University, 28th October 2016, performed by the composer.
Flexible duration, between 30 and 60 mins.

ECHOES OF A LOST MUSIC
(2009, rev 2011-2013)

Electric Guitar (with EBow and Boss DD-20 Digital Delay Pedal)
Commissioned by Matthew Marshall. First performance: Tauranga, New Zealand, 5th August 2009. Revised version first performed by Christopher Best, University College Falmouth, June 2011.
c30 mins
More info
Fullscore: 20pp FREE Download
Right click to download tuning sound file (mp3)

LISTEN: Complete (earlier version) (Christopher Best: electric guitar)

STILL BEATING
(2007)

Lever Harp (Clarsach)
Commissioned by the Society for the Promotion of New Music for performance by Ruth Wall, Wapping Power Station, March 2007.
c14 mins
More info
Fullscore: 15pp FREE Download
Right click to download sound file


LISTEN:
Complete (samples made from Ruth Wall's harp)

MOONLIGHTING
(concert version of Playfall)
(1998)

Piano
First performance: Julian Hellaby, BMIC, London, March 2001.
c25 mins
More info
Fullscore: 29pp FREE Download

LISTEN: 2nd movement (Catherine Laws: piano)


LISTEN: 6th movement (Julian Hellaby: piano)

SHADOWALL
(1997, rev 1998)

Organ
Commissioned by Daniel Moult, organist Coventry Cathedral. First performance: Coventry Cathedral, July 1997.
c15 mins

LISTEN: Extract (Daniel Moult: organ)

LIFE BEFORE BIRTH
(1996)

Cello, 2 CDs
Commissioned by Suits U2 Dance Co. as music to contemporary dance piece ‘Caught Up’ with funds from W. Midlands Arts. Choreographer: Sarah Whatley. First performance: Coventry University, March 1996.
c25 mins
Fullscore: 11pp + 2 backing CDs £14.50 incl P&P. Purchase
View sample

LISTEN:
Extract 1 (Bob Davey: cello solo and samples)


LISTEN: Extract 2 (Bob Davey: cello solo and samples)

THEN AGAIN...
(1994)

Piano
Selected by SPNM Reading Panel 1994. First performance: Julian Hellaby, St James, Piccadilly, March 1994.
c15 mins

LISTEN: 2nd movement (Julian Hellaby: piano)

LISTEN: 3rd movement (Julian Hellaby: piano)


LISTEN: 6th movement (Julian Hellaby: piano)

PIANO SONATA ‘RECONCILIATIONS’
(1985)

Piano
First performance: Raymond Clarke, BMIC, February 1986.
Selected by SPNM for performance by Michael Finnissy, BMIC, May 1986.
c14 mins

LISTEN: Extract (Raymond Clarke: piano)

PROSPECTUS
(1980)

Piano
First performance: Christopher Best, Lancaster University, March 1982.
c4 mins

AT THE ELEVENTH HOUR
(1979)

Piano
Winner of 1980 Aylesbury Music Festival composition award, performed by Christopher Best.
c6 mins

Fullscore: 9pp FREE Download
Right click to download sound file


LISTEN: Complete (Sequenced recording)


Chamber and vocal music:

SCENDING
(2016)

Bass Flute (doubling Alto Flute, Piccolo & Concert Flute), Button Accordion
Scending I: A-Scending
Scending II: DE-Scending
Scending III: A-Scending, DE-Scending
Scending IV: TRAN-Scending
Commissioned by William Sleath, with funds from the Britten-Pears Foundation. First performance by Miloš Milivojevic (accordion) and Will Sleath (flutes): The Exchange, Penzance, April 2017.
c45 mins

Fullscore: 57pp FREE Download

LISTEN:
Scending IV: TRAN-Scending Complete (Will Sleath: bass/concert flute, Miloš Milivojevic: accordion)

FRAGILITIES
(2013)

Alto Flute (doubling Bass Flute), Cello
Commissioned by Will Sleath and Rohan de Saram, with funds from the Britten-Pears Foundation. First performance by Will Sleath and Rohan de Saram: The Performance Centre, Falmouth University, November 2014.
c28 mins Christopher Best
More info
Fullscore: 20pp FREE Download
Right click to download FREE sound file

LISTEN: Complete (Will Sleath: alto/bass flute, Rohan de Saram: cello)

TERRA AL SOL
(2012)

Soprano, Mezzo Soprano, Accordion, 2 Violins, Cello (words Michelangelo)
Commissioned by Ensemble Fisarchi. Awaiting first performance.
c20 mins
Fullscore: 42pp £23.00 incl P&P. Purchase
Set of 5 parts. Hire or purchase
View sample

NIGHT WALKING
(version for alto flute)
(2005)

Alto Flute, Bass Clarinet, Violin, Cello
Original score commissioned by SPNM for the 1997 Spitalfields Festival. This version written at the request of Kokoro. First performance by members of Kokoro: Great Hall, Dartington, October 2006. Finalist in 9th Edition International Composition Competition Città di Udine 2012.
c4 mins
Fullscore: 7pp £5.00 incl P&P. Purchase
Set of 4 parts. Hire or purchase
View sample

HOW GREAT, HOW FALL’N
(2004)

Soprano, Alto, Tenor, Bass, Choir SATB, 2 Trumpets, Horn, Trombone, Tuba, Tubular Bells (words J.Reeve)
Selected by John Armitage Memorial for their 2004 season. First performance: St. Bride’s London, March 2004, conducted by Sarah McDonald.
c12 mins
More info
Fullscore: 30pp £17 incl P&P. Purchase
Set of 9 parts. Hire or purchase
View sample


LISTEN: Extract (See More info above for list of performers)


LISTEN: Complete (See More info above for list of performers)

DOLYA NASH KRAI
(2003)

Soprano, Alto, Electric Guitar, Gamelan Gong Kebyar (words trad. Ukrainian folk)
Selected by SPNM Reading Panel. First performance: Totnes Castle, July 2004, conducted by Christopher Best.
c11 mins
More info
Fullscore: 49pp £26 incl P&P. Purchase
Set of 14 parts. Hire
View sample


LISTEN: 1st movement (See More info above for list of performers)

LISTEN: 2nd movement (See More info above for list of performers)

RING OF BELLS
(1999)

4 Percussion: Marimba, Vibraphone, 5 Gongs, 5 Crotales
c6 mins

BRIEF SYMPHONIES
(chamber version of
Then Again...)
(1997)

Flute (doubling Piccolo), Oboe, Clarinet (doubling Bass Clarinet), Tenor Saxophone (doubling Baritone Saxophone), Trumpet, Trombone
c8 mins

INVOCATION
(vocal version of
Another Kind of Air)
(1997)

Counter-tenor, 2 Tenors, Bass, Crotales, Organ (words from Latin Mass).
c13 mins

NIGHT WALKING
(1997)

Clarinet, Bass Clarinet, Violin, Cello
Commissioned by SPNM for the 1997 Spitalfields Festival. First performance by ‘Jane’s Minstrels’, Christ Church, Spitalfields, June 1997.
c4 mins
Fullscore: 7pp £5.00 incl P&P. Purchase
Set of 4 parts. Hire or purchase
View sample


LISTEN: Complete (Performers as above)

A WEDDING CAROL
(1996, rev 1997)

Soprano, Organ (words Bill Wallace)
First performance: Moragh Brooksbank/Daniel Moult, Coventry Cathedral, October 1996.
c9 mins

LISTEN:
Extract (Performers as above)

ANOTHER KIND OF AIR
(1996)

Saxophone Quartet, Crotales
c12 mins

ROSSETTI DANCES
(chamber version
of Sisters Fayre)
(1995)

3 Flutes, 3 Clarinets, Marimba & Vibraphone (1 player), 3 Cellos
Selected by SPNM Reading Panel 1996.
c20 mins

THE ALPHABET TREE
(chamber version)
(1995 revised 2006)

2 Trumpets, Tuba, Timpani & Marimba (2 players), Piano, Harp, Double Bass
c10 mins
Fullscore: 33pp £18.00 incl P&P. Purchase
Set of 7 parts. Hire or purchase
View sample

LISTEN: Extract (Dartington College of Arts students and staff)

HERALD THE NEW STAGE
(1991)

2 Horns, 2 Trumpets, 2 Trombones, Tuba, Vibraphone
Commissioned by Coventry Centre for the Performing Arts for the opening of its new theatre, November 1991.
c8 mins

IN THIS OTHER HOUSE
(1991)

Soprano, Tenor, 2 Guitars (words Brian Jones)
First performance: Church of St. Peter, St. Albans, March 1991.
c8 mins

LISTEN:
Extract (Sharon Ellis: soprano, [Christopher Best: tenor], Catherine Cashmore, Adrian Rose: guitars)

THE SISTERS SUITE
(1990)

Descant Recorder, Violin, Piano
c15 mins

TIME-SHARING
(1986)

Flute, Violin, Viola, Piano
Commissioned by Copenhagen Conservatoire for the Lerchenborg International Festival of New Music, Denmark, June 1986.
c10 mins

TRIAPHONY
(1984, rev 1985)

Flute, Oboe, Clarinet, Violin, Viola, Cello, Piano
Commissioned by Friends of the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Soc. Winner of 1985 ‘Sonorities’ award. First performance: ‘Aquarius’, Queens University Belfast, recorded by the BBC, April 1985.
c12 mins

I SAID TO MY SOUL, BE STILL
(1983)

Flute, Piano
Commissioned by Friends of St Mary’s. First performance: Margaret Campbell and Christopher Cox, St. Mary’s Church, Aylesbury May 1983.
c5 mins

BAGATELLE
(1981)

String Quartet
c2 mins

ISORHYTHMS
FOR STRING QUARTET
(1981)

String Quartet
First performance: Students of Lancaster University Music Department, Lancaster University, March 1982.
c7 mins

Fullscore: 17pp FREE Download
Parts: Violin I FREE Download
Parts: Violin II FREE Download
Parts: Viola FREE Download
Parts: Cello FREE Download

Right click to download sound file


LISTEN:
Complete (Performers as above)
A PROSPECT OF DEATH
(1979)
Baritone, Piano (words Andrew Young)
First performance: Nicholas Houghton (baritone), Christopher Best (piano), Lancaster University, March 1981.
c4 mins
Fullscore (original version in C# Minor): 5pp FREE Download
Fullscore (version for Mezzo Soprano): 5pp FREE Download
Also available in B Minor request by e-mail


Orchestral and choral music:

HOW GREAT, HOW FALL'N
(orchestral version)
(2010)

Flute, Oboe, Clarinet, Bassoon, 2 Trumpets, Horn, Trombone, Tuba, Accordion, Piano, 6 Tubular Bells (hand-held), Tam-tam, Strings (8,8,6,4,2)
First performed by Malta Symphony Orchestra, Teatru Manuel, Valletta, Malta, December 2011, conductor: Brian Schembri.
c18 mins

More info
Revised fullscore: In progress
Set of 18 parts. Hire

PANAURA
(1999, rev 2006)

5 or more Flutes (1 doubling Piccolo), 3 or more Oboes, 5 or more Clarinets, 3 or more Soprano Saxophones, Tenor Saxophone, 2 Trumpets, Trombone, Tuba, 4 Percussion, Piano, Keyboard, Harp, 4 Electric Guitars, Electric Bass, Strings
2006 version first performed by Kokoro and members of Dartington College of Arts,
Great Hall, Dartington, October 2006.
c13 mins
More info

Fullscore: 34pp £19.00 incl P&P. Purchase
Set of 28 parts. Hire
View sample

LISTEN:
1st Movement (2006 version) opening (performers as above)

LIFE BEFORE BIRTH
(string version)
(1997)

Strings (3,3,2,2,1)
c25 mins

CUE - PLAY - REVIEW
(1988)

2 Flutes (1 doubling Piccolo, 1 doubling Alto Flute), Clarinet (doubling Bass Clarinet), 2 Percussion, Piano, Harp, Strings (3,0,3,2,1)
c40 mins

FINDHORN CHORUSES
(1 and 2)
(1988)*

Choir SATB, Flute, Clarinet (doubling Bass Clarinet), Trombone, Violin, Piano, 3 Percussion (words trad)
c5 mins

SONATA FOR ORCHESTRA
(1984)

Piccolo, 2 Flutes, 2 Oboes, Cor Anglais, 2 Clarinets, Bass Clarinet, 2 Bassoons, Contrabassoon, 4 Horns, 3 Trumpets, 3 Trombones, Tuba, Timpani, 3 Percussion, Harp, Strings
Selected by SPNM Reading Panel 1985. First performance: University Orchestra, Great Hall Nottingham University, June 1985, conductor: Christopher Best.
c16 mins

THE FOUR PERIODS OF CREATION
(1983)

Choir SATB, 2 Flutes (1 doubling Piccolo), 2 Oboes, 2 Clarinets, 2 Bassoons, 4 Horns, 2 Trumpets, 3 Trombones, Timpani, 2 Percussion, Strings (words traditional Maori folk)
Commissioned by Ormskirk Musical Society.
c18 mins

SYMPHONY IN 2 MOVEMENTS
(1983)

2 Flutes (doubling Piccolos), 2 Oboes, 2 Clarinets, 2 Bassoons, 4 Horns, 3 Trumpets, 3 Trombones, 4 Percussion, Piano, Strings
First performance: University Orchestra, Great Hall Lancaster University, February 1983, conductor: Christopher Best.
c20 mins

LISTEN: 1st Movement (Performers as above)

VENI CREATOR SPIRITUS
(1981)

Double Choir SSAATTBB
c2 mins


Electronic and mixed media work:

LETTERS AFTER A NAME
(2008)
(performing version of ‘Still’ and ‘Pocketsize)

Clarinet (doubling Bass Clarinet), Percussion (1 player), Violin (doubling Viola), Fixed media

WAKING DANCE
(2003)

Fixed media
Re-worked version of music to ‘Twilight Tempest'.
c60 mins
More info
To Listen to extracts from Waking Dance, go to CDs

PRETENDED FLIGHT
(1992)

Fixed media
Commissioned as music to contemporary dance piece, choreographed and performed by Sarah Whatley, Chisenhale Dance Space, London, November 1992.
c17 mins

LISTEN: Extract 1 (Maryam Best, Indigo Craig, Christopher Best: voice samples)

LISTEN: Extract 2 (Indigo Craig, Christopher Best: voice samples)


LISTEN: Extract 3 (Christopher Best: voice samples)

THE GARDENS OF FINDHORN
(includes works marked*)
(1988)

Soprano, Tenor, Choir SATB, Flute (doubling Alto Flute), Clarinet (doubling Bass Clarinet), Trombone, Violin, Piano, 3 Percussion, Fixed media (words from ‘The Findhorn Garden’ and trad).
c50 mins

THE DEVA GARDEN
(1988)*

Soprano, Fixed media (words from ‘The Findhorn Garden’)
First performance: Patricia Garnham, Coventry Centre for the Performing Arts, March 1991.
c16 mins

LISTEN: Extract (Patricia Garnham: voice)

FROM STEEL TO STONE
(1987)*

Fixed media
Presented at Elektrisk Helg ’00, Swedish Radio, Malmo, May 2000.
c14 mins

LISTEN: Extract (David Huron: voice samples)



Music for dance and theatre:

POCKETSIZE
(2005)

Fixed media
Commissioned by Claid & Co. Choreographer Emilyn Claid. Texts: David Williams. First performance: Exeter Phoenix, October 2005.
c60 mins

LISTEN: Smokey Dance (Damien Harron: live drums, Christopher Best: all other sounds)

LISTEN: Baroque Dance (Fenella Barton: violin, Ian Mitchell: bass clarinet, Damien Harron: vibraphone, Christopher Best: all other sounds)

LISTEN: Closing Procession (Christopher Best: all sounds)

TWILIGHT TEMPEST
(2001)

Djembe & Kumina drum (1 player), Fixed media
Commissioned by Bimba Dance Theatre. Choreographer: Indra Thiagarajah. First performed at the Roadmender Theatre, Northampton, May 2001.
c60 mins
More info
To Listen to extracts from Twilight Tempest, go to CDs (Waking Dance)

STILL
(1999)

Clarinet (doubling Bass Clarinet), Percussion (1 player), Violin (doubling Viola), Fixed media
Commissioned by Scottish Dance Theatre. Choreographer: Janet Smith. First performance: Dundee Repertory Theatre, Dundee, September 1999.
c34 mins

PLAYFALL
(1997)

Fixed media
Commissioned by Scottish Dance Theatre. Choreographer Janet Smith. First performance: Dundee Repertory Theatre, Dundee, February 1998.
c23 mins
More info

LISTEN: 2nd movement (Catherine Laws: piano)

LISTEN: 6th movement (Julian Hellaby: piano)

FRACTOR
(1997)

Fixed media
Commissioned by Kaleidoscope Integrated Dance Project with funds from The National Lottery. Choreographer: Louise Katerega. First performed at the Richard Attenborough Centre, Leicester, September 1997.
c15 mins

LISTEN: Extract (Bonnie Chamberlain & Louise Katerega: voice samples)

LIFE BEFORE BIRTH
(1996)

Cello, Fixed media
Commissioned by Suits U2 Dance Co. as music to contemporary dance piece ‘Caught Up’ with funds from W. Midlands Arts. Choreographer: Sarah Whatley. First performance: Coventry University, March 1996.
c25 mins

LISTEN: Extract 1 (Bob Davey: cello solo and samples
)

LISTEN:
Extract 2 (Bob Davey: cello solo and samples)

SONGS FROM EDWARD BOND’S ‘DEREK’
(1994)

Alto, Tenor, Clarinet, Trombone, Piano (words Edward Bond)
Commissioned by Storm Theatre. Director: Mark Evans. First performance: Belgrade Studio Theatre, Coventry, August 1994.
c13 mins

THE ALPHABET TREE
(1993)

Fixed media
Composed for choreographer Amanda Britton (Rambert Dance Co.). First performance: Birmingham NEC, December 1993.
c10 mins

SONGS/INCIDENTAL MUSIC TO ‘TWELFTH NIGHT’
(1993)

Baritone, Fixed media (words Shakespeare)
Composed for the Pendley International Shakespeare Festival, August 1993. Director: Mark Evans.
c20 mins

LISTEN: When That I Was (John Ryan: saxophones, Christopher Best: acoustic guitar)

LISTEN: Interval Music (Christopher Best: all instruments)

SISTERS FAYRE
(1992)

Fixed media
Commissioned by choreographers Helen Greaves and Sarah Whatley with funds from W. Midlands Arts. First performance: DanceXchange, Birmingham, February 1993.
c26 mins

PRETENDED FLIGHT
(1992)

Fixed media
Commissioned as music to contemporary dance piece, choreographed and performed by Sarah Whatley, Chisenhale Dance Space, London, November 1992.
c17 mins

LISTEN: Extract 1 (Maryam Best, Indigo Craig, Christopher Best: voice samples)

LISTEN: Extract 2 (Indigo Craig, Christopher Best: voice samples)

LISTEN: Extract 3 (Christopher Best: voice samples)

SONGS/INCIDENTAL MUSIC TO ‘THE WINTER’S TALE’
(1984)

Soprano, Alto, Baritone, Flute, Oboe, Trumpet, String Quartet, Guitar, Piano, 2 Percussion (words Shakespeare)
Commissioned by Cambridge Amateur Dramatic Club. First performance: Cambridge A.D.C., November 1984, directed by John Highkin.
c20 mins


CDs:

WAKING DANCE
(2003)

1] Spirits of Yamalya
2] Gyile Song
LISTEN:

3] The Veiling
4] Last Chorus
LISTEN:

5] Yama's Kingdom
6] Processional
7] Mortal Love
8] Wake Dances (Kumina, Pacha, Yanvalu)
LISTEN: (two extracts)

9] The Unveiling
10] The Deceit
11] A Fire Ritual (Agna Ayahi Vitaye)
LISTEN:

Total Duration 58' 24"
More info See here for list of performers on recordings
£12 incl P&P. Purchase

CHOICE CUTS
(2000)

A sampler CD featuring 27 extracts from compositions 1987-1999
Duration 74' 56 "
£1.50 P&P only

Updated March 2017

© Christopher Best 2017