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Maria Tanase

Maria Tanase

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Maria Tănase was a renowned Romania
Romania is a country located at the crossroads of Central and Southeastern Europe, on the Lower Danube, within and outside the Carpathian arch, bordering on the Black Sea...

n singer of Romanian traditional or non-contemporary folklore.


Born in the Bucharest
Bucharest is the capital municipality, cultural, industrial, and financial centre of Romania. It is the largest city in Romania, located in the southeast of the country, at , and lies on the banks of the Dâmbovița River....

 suburb of Cărămidari, Maria Tănase's Primary School was nr. 11 Tăbăcari. She made her stage debut in Cărămidarii de Jos, at the Ion Heliade Rădulescu High School. In 1934, she joined the Cărăbuş Theatre of Constantin Tănase
Constantin Tanase
Constantin Tănase was a Romanian actor and writer for stage, a key figure in the revue style of theater in Romania.-Life:Born into a working-class family living in a peasant house in Vaslui, Romania...

 with the help and advice of newspaper writer Sandu Eliad, who, at the time was her partner. Her debut proper took place on June 2, 1937 with the stage name of Mary Atanasiu in the musical hall theatres, Alhambra and Gioconda. She represented Romania at the International Exhibition
Exposition Internationale des Arts et Techniques dans la Vie Moderne (1937)
The Exposition Internationale des Arts et Techniques dans la Vie Moderne was held from May 25 to November 25, 1937 in Paris, France...

 in Paris
Paris is the capital and largest city in France, situated on the river Seine, in northern France, at the heart of the Île-de-France region...

 in 1937, as well as at the 1939 New York World's Fair
1939 New York World's Fair
The 1939–40 New York World's Fair, which covered the of Flushing Meadows-Corona Park , was the second largest American world's fair of all time, exceeded only by St. Louis's Louisiana Purchase Exposition of 1904. Many countries around the world participated in it, and over 44 million people...

. During World War II, together with George Enescu
George Enescu
George Enescu was a Romanian composer, violinist, pianist, conductor and teacher.-Biography:Enescu was born in the village of Liveni , Dorohoi County at the time, today Botoşani County. He showed musical talent from early in his childhood. A child prodigy, Enescu created his first musical...

, George Vraca and Constantin Tănase
Constantin Tanase
Constantin Tănase was a Romanian actor and writer for stage, a key figure in the revue style of theater in Romania.-Life:Born into a working-class family living in a peasant house in Vaslui, Romania...

, she performed in a series of shows for soldiers injured on the battlefield.

On February 20, 1938 she made her radio debut. Fame came shortly afterwards, as, during the same year, she made her first recordings for the Romanian Radio Society. These early recordings are said to have been destroyed by the "authorities" during the first months of the National Legionary State
National Legionary State
The National Legionary State was the Romanian government from September 6, 1940 to January 23, 1941. It was a single-party regime dictatorship dominated by the overtly fascist Iron Guard in uneasy conjunction with the head of government and Conducător Ion Antonescu, the leader of the Romanian...

, at a time when Maria Tănase had also been banned from performing in public.
In December 1943, she sang at the Christmas
Christmas or Christmas Day is an annual holiday generally celebrated on December 25 by billions of people around the world. It is a Christian feast that commemorates the birth of Jesus Christ, liturgically closing the Advent season and initiating the season of Christmastide, which lasts twelve days...

 festivities at the Royal Cavalry Regiment, where King Michael I
Michael I of Romania
Michael was the last King of Romania. He reigned from 20 July 1927 to 8 June 1930, and again from 6 September 1940 until 30 December 1947 when he was forced, by the Communist Party of Romania , to abdicate to the Soviet armies of occupation...

 of Romania, Ion Antonescu
Ion Antonescu
Ion Victor Antonescu was a Romanian soldier, authoritarian politician and convicted war criminal. The Prime Minister and Conducător during most of World War II, he presided over two successive wartime dictatorships...

, Mihai Antonescu
Mihai Antonescu
Mihai Antonescu was a Romanian politician who served as Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister during World War II.-Early career:...

 and all the members of the government were present as guests. After World War II
World War II
World War II, or the Second World War , was a global conflict lasting from 1939 to 1945, involving most of the world's nations—including all of the great powers—eventually forming two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis...

, she performed in the Review Ensemble and the Satirical and Musical Theatre Constantin Tănase. She had parts in the plays "The Living Corpse
The Living Corpse
The Living Corpse is a Russian play by Leo Tolstoy. Although written around 1900, it was only published shortly after his death—Tolstoy had never considered the work finished...

" by Leo Tolstoy
Leo Tolstoy
Lev Nikolayevich Tolstoy was a Russian writer who primarily wrote novels and short stories. Later in life, he also wrote plays and essays. His two most famous works, the novels War and Peace and Anna Karenina, are acknowledged as two of the greatest novels of all time and a pinnacle of realist...

 in 1945, and "Horia" by Mihai Davidoglu in 1956. In 1944 Maria Tănase sang in Edmond Audran
Edmond Audran
Achille Edmond Audran was a French composer best known for several internationally successful operettas, including Les noces d'Olivette , La mascotte , Gillette de Narbonne , La cigale et la fourmi , Miss Helyett , and La poupée .After Audran's initial success in Paris, his works also became a...

's operetta
Operetta is a genre of light opera, light in terms both of music and subject matter. It is also closely related, in English-language works, to forms of musical theatre.-Origins:...

 "Mascota" (The Mascot). In 1946 she held the main part in the musical comedy "The Hollywood Sphinx", by Ralph Benatzky
Ralph Benatzky
Ralph Benatzky , Moravia, Austrian Empire – 16 October 1957), born in Moravské Budějovice as Rudolf Josef František Benatzki, was an Austrian composer of Czech origin...

. She sang in the movie "Romania" in 1947, and in 1958 she performed in both "Ciulinii Bărăganului
Ciulinii Baraganului
Ciulinii Bărăganului is a 1958 Franco-Romanian film directed by Louis Daquin and Gheorghe Vitanidis, based on a novel of the same title by Panait Istrati....

" (The Thistles of the Bărăgan), and the short-reel film "Amintiri din Bucureşti" (Memories from Bucharest). In 1952, Maria Tănase was offered a position at the Music School No. 1 in Bucharest, in the newly created folk song department; 1962 found her guiding "Taraful Gorjului" (The Gorj Folk Music Band) in Târgu Jiu
Târgu Jiu
Târgu Jiu is the capital of Gorj County, Oltenia, Romania. It is situated on the Southern Sub-Carpathians, on the banks of the river Jiu. Eight villages are administered by the city: Bârseşti, Drăgoeni, Iezureni, Polata, Preajba Mare, Româneşti, Slobozia and Ursaţi.-History:The city takes its name...

 and the artists there, at her own request. On May 1, 1963, after a concert in Hunedoara
Hunedoara is a city in Hunedoara County, Transylvania, Romania. It is located in southeastern Transylvania near the Poiana Ruscă Mountains, and administers five villages: Boş, Groş, Hăşdat, Peştişu Mare and Răcăştia....

, she was forced, because of illness to abort her tours.

In 1955, she received the State Prize and in 1957 she was honored with the medals "Ordinul Muncii" (The Order for Activity), "Premiul de Stat" (The State Award), and the title "Artistă Emerită" (Honoured Artist of the Republic) for her contributions to the arts.

She toured many times in the last 15 years of her life, including over forty trips to New York City
New York City
New York is the most populous city in the United States and the center of the New York Metropolitan Area, one of the most populous metropolitan areas in the world. New York exerts a significant impact upon global commerce, finance, media, art, fashion, research, technology, education, and...

. She died of cancer on June 22, 1963 and is buried at the Bellu cemetery in Bucharest, Romania.
Year Title Label
1957 "IV" Electrecord
1994 "Greatest Hits" Electrecord
1994 "Maria Tanase (24 Works)" Electrecord
2001 "Ciuleandra" Oriente Musik
2000 "Malediction d'Amour" Oriente Musik
2002 "Magic Bird (The Early Years)" Oriente Musik
"Maria Tănase Volume I" Electrecord
"Maria Tănase Volume II" Electrecord
"Maria Tănase Volume III" Electrecord

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