"These voices have to be heard to be believed. Not only do they possess the lowest notes of any choral singer, but the soloists have such full voices that the effect is immediately striking. I've heard recordings in which basses reach low C's and Bb's, but the pitches can barely be heard above a whisper. These men have full command of those lowest notes. I would love to hear this group perform live in a cathedral setting.The quality of the recording is excellent and there is rather a variety of literature represented, as well. The music includes anonymous ancient liturgical chant, popular folk songs, and music by well known Russian choral composers (such as Tchesnokov and Gretchaninov). The notes are excellent and well researched. We learn, for instance, that God Save the Tsar, which figures prominently in the famous 1812 Overture, actually wasn't written until 1833. As the writer says, musical expression takes precedence of historical accuracy at times.This CD is of very high quality in a number of ways, but 65 minutes of it does get a little long. This CD is for anyone interested in choral music, but limited doses might be the way to enjoy it best."
Romeo's mom | Austin, TX United States | 12/08/1999
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Basso Profondos (oktavists) are unique to Russian singing. Their vocal range is at least one octave below the normal bass range (think Paul Robeson or Tennessee Ernie Ford). This is a magnificent work and I highly recommend it to any classical music lover for the sheer pleasure of hearing such wondrous music. I have never heard anything like it."
Romeo's mom | 03/02/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I have done a good bit of research on basso profundo's, contrabasses, etc and these guys seem to be lower than any I've heard. The soloist on "Do Not Reject Me In My Old Age" has a full voiced G1, below low bass C which he hits a number of times on the CD. Very amazing recording... good musically, not the VERY best choir I've ever heard or anything, but definetly good. Russian music is great, many of the tracks are very dark musically, but there are some more majestic tracks, and a few tracks that sound kinda militaristic."
Well Below the Bass Range
Romeo's mom | 01/15/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"The music on this CD won't be to everyone's liking, but the unique sound of the voice of a "basso profundo" or "octavist"
is a musical rarity that shouldn't be missed. These basses have a gripping effect, with a timbre resembling that of an organ's pedal tones. These basses can sing the low A below the bass range. They are, simply, extraordinarily powerful voices. Savor the unearthly sound of them. Who knows - you might just get to like Russian polyphonic liturgical chant, as well."
Authentic Russian Music
John D. Dooley | Southern California United States | 08/25/2007
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Have you ever bought folk or choral music from another country & were disappointed with either the recording or non-professional singing? Not so with this near masterpiece. "The Orthodox Singers" male choir from Moscow was formed in 1992 with 14 singers from several churches in Moscow. Several of the choir sing near an octave below the normal bass line & are called "Oktavists". Most of the songs in this recording are sacred with a few popular songs added in for good taste. A few times a solo Oktavist sings in the orthodox deacon style, chanting a sermon or reading while the choir sings the melody. The balance of the songs are done within a standard choral arrangement with several Oktavists singing the lowest note of the chord. I want to rate this CD with a "5" but sometimes the chanting Oktavists lack that extra "Awe" which should cause the fear of God in you. I have "Electrostatic" speakers & was surprised to hear the Oktavists in the panels, which mean the basses sing above 250Hz.
A good buy if you want to hear something different."