Thursday, December 22, 2005
Richer, Deeper, Lower, Higher
A couple weeks ago, Monee and I dug up some old records of a Russian singer named Ivan Rebroff. He sings some opera stuff and a lot of Russian (and other) folk songs, and he has the most fantastic voice. He's been called the "richest, deepest, lowest, highest bass in the world," and he really is incredible. The record jackets claim he can sing down to an A below the bass staff, but on one song he actually makes it all the way down to the F below that. (That's a full octave below the usual low F for a bass singer.) Plus, he even has a surprisingly good head voice, and can sing well all the way up into soprano range (or at least alto, I haven't really checked) when he wants to. The songs that contrast the extremes of his range are really fascinating. I also like his recordings of "If I Were a Rich Man," in both French and German. I haven't found an English version yet, but I really like the German one. And the balalaikas playing with him on a lot of the recordings of are pretty cool too.