Thursday 2 December 2010

Russian male choir with basso profundo - solution to the blend problem


As a companion piece to the Greek Orthodox choral music below, here is the Russian Orthodox tradition - with a delightful snowy winter video.

This is another solution to the problem of getting a homogeneous blend of voices in a four voice choir.

Essentially, you drop everything half an octave and use male tenor-altino voice (i.e. high tenors who blend across the break in the voice up into alto falsetto) for the top line (instead of sopranos or trebles); and use the basso profundo voice for the bottom line (instead of 'normal' basses).

Unfortunately, this is apparently only an option in Russia - since nowhere else seems to produce bassi profundi...

However the result - I think you will agree - is both hair-raising and spine-tingling.



Ron Guhname said...

God is in that music.

Bruce Charlton said...



I find even secular music pretty sublime when performed by a four voice harmony male choir.

But the only time I ever heard this live was at a Greek Orthodox service on the Island of Tinos in 1978 (more than 30 years before I became a Christian, and knowing nothing of Orthodoxy).

The choir was (I think) only one or two voices per part; but they were very good voices.

Lacking bassi profundi, the harmony was closer-packed than with Russian choirs (all the notes being between lowish alto and bass), but it was utterly wonderful!