OP2133. IVAN THE TERRIBLE (The Maid of Pskov) (Rimsky-Korsakov) - Excerpts, recorded 1949, w.Nebolsin Cond. Bolshoi Theatre Ensemble; Mark Reizen, Elisabeta Shumilova, Mikhailo Tucha, Nicolai Schegolkov, etc.; MARK REIZEN, w.Rozhdestvensky Cond. USSR Radio Orch.: DIE WALKÜRE – Wotans abscheid und Feuerzauber (in Russian), Live Performance, 15 Jan., 1965. (Russia) Aquarius AQVR 352. - 4607123631140
“Mark Reizen’s voice, for me at least, has always seemed to possess the grandeur of Lev Sibiriakov and the art and essential beauty of Alexander Kipnis. It is difficult to be objective when seemingly the basic sound is enough to sweep aside all critical values….In 1949, scenes from [the above] opera were recorded under the conductor Vassily Nebolsin for a proposed broadcast. This recording has now been made available for the first time and is the main content of [this] CD….The transfers are very good, and perhaps the best way to sum up this performance is to call it majestic in the extreme….A ‘must’ for all devotées of Russian, or indeed any, bass voice.”
- Alan Bilgora, THE RECORD COLLECTOR, 2011
“A superb singer and powerful actor with a highly expressive, rich voice of astonishing color and range, [Reizen’s] forte was legendary, but he also had a pianissimo so expressive it could stop a rehearsal to allow Natalia Shpiller singing opposite him to regain her composure, while the rest of the cast were drying their eyes.”
- Richard D. Sylvester, TCHAIKOVSKY’S COMPLETE SONGS
"Wotan's Farewell is written for a singer with a large, even range. It requires elastic breath and huge vocal resources. As ever, Mark Osipovich Reizen's execution of this monologue [at age 69] was an inspiration. The voice sounding amazing with a fadeless beauty."
- Natalia Shpiller
“Elena Shumilova’s creative career is inextricably linked with the history of the Bolshoi Theatre during the middle of the last century. One of Elena Shumilova’s most outstanding roles at the Bolshoi Theatre was in the role of Olga in Rimsky-Korsakov’s THE MAID OF PSKOV. The image of Olga, as performed by Elena Shumilova, has since entered the treasury of the performing arts thanks to the magnificent recording of THE MAID OF PSKOV, made by the All-Union Radio foundation in 1947. It was Shumilova’s first major radio performance. It is noteworthy to mention that when two years later, in 1949, a radio recording of large extended scenes from THE MAID OF PSKOV was made, Elena Shumilova was again invited to sing Olga’s part with Mark Reizen taking on the role of Ivan."
- Mike Weston
“Vassili Vassilyevich Nebolsin (30 May 1898 – 29 October 1958) was a Russian conductor. He studied at the college of the Moscow Philharmonic and became conductor of the orchestra in 1918. He became choir master of the Bolshoi in 1920 and its conductor in 1922. He taught at the Moscow Conservatory from 1940 to 1945. The Stalin Prize was awarded him in 1950.”
- Zillah Dorset Akron