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Yesterday, the fourteenth of March, marked the anniversary of the passing of that great Russian composer, Pavel Chesnokov, who famously wrote choir pieces for oktavists, that is, men who can sing a full octave below the bass line. The very thought of having such vocal apparatus fills me with envy! The sound of such voices, as they take their place among the other choristers is simply beautiful, atmospheric…….. dare I say, heavenly?
No, the Book infers that the angels can reach even deeper registers, perhaps one or two octaves below the voice of even our most robust human oktavist. At the calling of the prophet Isaiah, that order of angels called the Seraphim sang their favourite song: “Holy, holy, holy is the Lord Almighty; the whole earth is full of His glory.” And then says the Book: At the sound of their voices, the very doorposts of the temple shook!
What a sound we shall one day hear in heaven. Not just the voices of saints in the union of soprano, alto, tenor and bass, and even basso profundo (oktavists). But when the angels join in, the added voices of super oktavists and super sopranos. And that’s not even taking into account the vocal registers of that other order of angels called Cherubim. And that’s not even taking into account the vocal register of the God who sings (Zephaniah 3:17). And won’t that music be rich, beautiful, ineffable, atmospheric, …. and truly heavenly!
DM 15th March 2021