Choral composer seeks record-breaking bass

Paul Mealor’s De Profundis includes a note thought never to have been sung

Published: February 3, 2012 at 11:29 am

Composer Paul Mealor, whose Ubi Caritas was performed at the royal wedding in April last year, has written a piece which includes the lowest note ever included in a choral work.


His work De Profundis features the E more than two octaves below middle C. It is six semi-tones below the note that was previously the lowest ever written in a choral piece – a B flat in Rachmaninov’s Vespers.

According to Guinness World Records the lowest note ever sung is the F sharp three semi-tones above the note in Mealor’s De Profundis. The record was set by George Menees in 2010 (see video).

The De Profundis text comes from one of the penitential psalms and the opening translates – appropriately enough – as 'Out of the depths I cry to you, O Lord.'

Mealor and his producer, Anna Barry, along with record company Decca will be searching for a bass to sing the note. The closing date for entries is 24 February and any bass who thinks they might be able to sing the note is asked to contact Danny Roberts on The recording is expected to take place this spring.

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Elizabeth Davis

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