Reizen, Mark Ossipovich. (born) Nikitovka, Ukraine 3.7.1895. Russian bass. At first engineer, then studies at Kharkhov with the Italian professor Bougamelli. Debut Kharkhov 1921 Pimen; sings there Ruslan, Dossifei, the Miller (Roussalka), Basilio, Mephistopheles, Kotchubei etc. Leningrad 1925, Moscow Bolshoi 1928. Performs in all of Europe 1930 (Berlin,Barcelone,Monaco, in Mephistopheles and Basilio Paris, London. Imposing on stage but also as a great interpreter of the lied and melodies. Moscow Bolshoi regularly until 1954, then still performing occasionally as well as on Radio and in concert. ; Gives an important recital for his 80th (anniversary), and for his 90th sings Gremin at the Bolshoi in Moscow in July 1985. Often considered to possess the most beautiful and powerful bass voice of the century, an accomplished actor and musician, he left a special legacy, besides the above roles, in Boris, Salieri (Mozart and Salieri), Soussanin, Mephisto (Gounod), Konchak, The Viking merchant (Sadko), The old Gypsy (Aleko) as well as the operas of Wagner (Wotan) and Verdi ( Philip II, Procida)(D)
Note by VH:
Most of these recordings are so hard to find, that for most people, the only way to hear this phenomenal voice is RIGHT HERE. With the exception of the Mephistopheles, the others can be found only on LP so far. These are a small sampling of the treasures still hidden in the Russian archives. In his prime, Reizen's voice easily ranged over two octaves and a half, from low F to high Aflat. The contemporary cartoon by N. Lis shown here, is entitled "Reizen's high G" and suggests the impression made by the voice. Follows a listing - so pitifully short - of what has been reissued on CD of the recordings of one of the greatest singing artists of this century.
Especially needed are reissues of classical songs and romances, in which Reizen ranks with the greatest masters. With the following new feature, this page tries to fill in the gap, starting with Tchaikovsky songs, for which Reizen had a particular affinity.
Mark Reizen died November 25, 92 . He issued records as late as age 80 and 87.