The first post in the new Bass Watch series is "To Thee we Sing" Op.27 No.6. by Pavel Chesnokov. The lowest notes by the Oktavists is an A1. Enjoy!
The first piece is by the Russian composer Pavel Chesnokov. It is a cantata for male choir and solo Oktavist called Ne Otverzhi Mene or Do Not Reject Me In My Old Age. In it, the Oktavist (Contrabass) soloist must sing a Bb1 (a whole tone below the lowest note on a cello) and has the option to sing down to G1 at the end of the piece.
For me, the section after the Bb1's is the most beautiful. Starting at 3:48, the Oktavist soloist moves in a wave-like motion from Eb2 to Bb3, starting gently then growing to a fortissimo. The rich sound of the Oktavist's chest register is unlike any other kind of singing, and I find it deeply moving.
For all you basses out there - why not sing along and see if you can hit the G1! Good Luck!
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