He's one of classical music’s most important composers - and on the eve of his 80th birthday, we got to ask him what he thinks about the state of classical music in 2016.
What’s that low rumble? Is the sky falling in? Is it a plane? Or is it the sound of a Russian oktavist, singing a full octave below a normal bass…?
Recently the internet got all excited about #rachchallenge, in which bass singers challenged each other to sing a ridiculously low B that appears in Rachmaninov’s All-Night Vigil
That is, until we came across a video that blew all competition out of the water.
These guys are Russian oktavists and they sing a full octave below the range of a standard baritone singer.
For illustration purposes, here’s the approximate range of a bass:
Here’s the approximate range of an oktavist, a voice which is most commonly found in Russian Orthodox Choral music:
And here's what that sounds like in practice.
Have a listen, and feel your very bones vibrate:
You right now: