Martin Best Biography (Wikipedia)
Martin Best (born 13 April 1942) is an English singer, lutenist and guitarist, and composer. Best has been active mainly in early music including renaissance music, minstrel songs and the French troubadour traditions, in works related to Shakespeare, such as the sonettes and music to Shakespeare plays, and also in songs of the Swedish ballad tradition. He has often performed in constellations named Martin Best Consort and Martin Best Medieval Ensemble.
Best got a position at the Royal Shakespeare Company in mid 1960s and remained associated with them for over 30 years as an actor-singer, musician and composer.
His first works in the Swedish ballad tradition was works of Carl Michael Bellman, Sweden's unofficial national poet, who is sometimes considered the starting point of the Swedish ballad tradition. Best recorded three albums with Bellman's songs, mainly from the song collections Fredman's Epistles in translations by Paul Britten Austin, with some additions from Fredman's Songs as well as other Bellman works: To Carl Michael with Love (1975), Bellman in Britain (1978), and Songs of Carl Michael Bellman. Songs from the two first albums were later collected on a CD, also named To Carl Michael with Love. Other Swedish song poets performed by Best include Birger Sjöberg (1885–1929), with one album released in 1979.