These Russian basses sing so low you’ll think the world is ending

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…?

Oktavist asset

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

And we were impressed.

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:

Bass singer range

Here’s the approximate range of an oktavist, a voice which is most commonly found in Russian Orthodox Choral music:

Oktavist singer range

And here's what that sounds like in practice.

Have a listen, and feel your very bones vibrate:



You right now:

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