Maria d'Olenina d'Alheim, the first performer of Russian Lieder, was a pivotal figure in early 20th century European classical music performance. Maria had the ability to 'tell the song', uniting words and music in an art of vocal declamation. Her personal ties to the 'Mighty Handful' of Russian composers -- Mussorgsky, Borodin, Cui, Rimsky-Korsakov, and Balakirev -- inspired Maria's singing. Her performances of Mussorgsky were the first to bring his music to western Europe. In 1908, Maria and her husband, music critic and writer Pierre d'Alheim, established the House of Song (Dom pesni in Russia, La Maison de Lied in France). Through her performances, his lectures, their publishing activities and by hosting international competitions, the House of Song influenced the musical climate of Europe. Through her own words and those of her contemporaries, Balakirev, Cui, Cortot, Bely, and Ravel, Alexander Tumanov has recreated this exciting period of classical music in Europe.