Can you manage a low 'E'? That's 3 octaves below middle C…

Can you manage a low 'E'? That's 3 octaves below middle C…


norman lebrecht

February 03, 2012

If you can, Decca want to hear from you. Will-and-Kate wedding composer Paul Mealor has written something that goes right off the scale and needs a latterday Chaliapin to bring it off. Please do not try this at home.

Read on here.


  • Emil Archambault says:

    That’s about an octave and a half lower than my lowest note…a G/A…

  • Yaroslav says:

    Here at 3:59 you can hear really good Russian E1 which Decca calls for.
    The soloist is Yuri Vishnyakov, he lives in Moscow.

  • Snowfire says:

    Vladimir Miller (for sure, I’ve heard him do E1)
    Fernando Araujo (maybe)
    Campbell Vertesi (maybe)
    Mikhail Kruglov (maybe)

    These two are retired , but they used to sing notes like this:

    Vladimir Pasyukov
    Mikhail Zlatopolsky

    You probably want several guys doubling this note if performed in any sizable space. It’s hard to project solo.

  • May be it will be interesting for you.
    Thanks. Sorry for my English…
    Yours faithfully – Vitaly.

  • John Varhula says:

    I think i hit the note not sure, submitted my entry anyway. Hopefully i did.

  • Mike Begley says:

    Someone might want to make the chaps at Decca aware that, at standard A=440 tuning, that e is 41.203 Hz. There are few speaker systems that will reproduce that frequency with any accuracy – it would really require the use of a subwoofer. And, played through an iPod or some such device, it will essentially be inaudible – and if audible it would be significantly distorted.

    The reference I checked online says that sounds below 35 Hz are felt more than truly heard. They might as well incorporate some dog whistles as well!

    Just for the record, I sing down to B1 (61.725 Hz), but truly, anything below the D (73.416 Hz) is not much more than a growl. But I am a baritone and the lowest I need to sing is the D (it’s an optional low note for Tonio in Act 2 of Pagliacci). Maybe a true tiefer bass would be heard below B1, live. But a record producer putting that low a tone in a recording and expecting that it will reproduce anywhere near accurately on general consumer electronics is a great optimist, at the least.