OP0496. TSAR'S BRIDE (Rimsky-Korsakov), recorded 1943, w.Lev Steinberg Cond. Bolshoi Opera Ensemble; Maxim Mikhailov, Natalya Shpiller, Pyotr Medvedev, Anatoly Orfenov, Maria Maksakova, etc. (Russia) 2-Great Hall 053/54. Final copy! - 8004883014019
“In 1946 Maria Maksakova was awarded her first Stalin Prize ‘for outstanding achievents in opera and the performing arts’. Two more were to come, in 1949 and 1951.
In 1953 Maksakova retired or, rather, was informed of her retirement, which came as an unpleasant surprise for a singer who kept herself in superb shape, both physically and artistically. Rumours had it that some people at the Bolshoi found it safe to settle old scores now that Stalin, her much-feared patron, was now dead; specifically, the name of Vera Davydova, another famous Soviet soprano, has been mentioned.
After retirement from the Bolshoi, Maksakova joined Nikolay Osipov's Russian Folk orchestra as a soloist. With and without it, she continued performing and touring. In 1956 the Bolshoi invited Maksakova back, but her return was a one-off: she peformed as Carmen only, just to say farewell to her fans. Later Maksakova taught vocals at the Russian Academy of Theatre Arts, was the head of the Folk vocal school in Moscow, published articles and essays. She was the driving force behind the opening of the Conservatory in her native Astrakhan. Among her proteges was Tamara Milashkina, later an acclaimed singer on her own right. Only in 1971 she was given the title as ‘the People's Artist of the USSR’.”
“Lev Petrovich Steinberg (3 September 1870 - Moscow 16 January 1945) was a Russian conductor and composer who was invited by Diaghilev to both Paris and London in 1914. He founded the Moscow State Symphony Orchestra in 1943.”