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Thread: Flotow's Martha (or The Market at Richmond)

          
   
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    Senior Member Top Contributor Member Florestan's Avatar
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    Flotow's Martha (or The Market at Richmond)

    I have all these Martha recordings. They all are nice performances in my opinion, but some are better in sound quality than others. I am wondering what of these you have heard and what your thoughts are on those you have heard.


    1) If you only want one Martha recording, I would recommend this one, which has a great cast and great sound quality:


    2) This one is also quite good and has sound quality equal to or close to that of the above set:


    3) This is a very nice set and has pretty good sound quality, though not up there with the two above, some distortion but not significant:


    4) This one is a bit lower in sound quality, suffering from substantial distortion on some high notes, tending more towards the quality of the last one below:


    5) The worst sound quality of the five, with noticeable distortion. This one is available in a dozen or more cover images and some are remastered, others are not, so I may not have the best version (as mine came in a 5 opera box set, not the one pictured below, though sound clips suggest it is similar to the one below which is remastered):



    Still, my favorite performance for sound quality, voices, and singing is the one posted on You Tube, which also has great acting, costumes, and sets: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_tqJpnCakLE
    Alas, the video performance is missing part of the hunting scene where the huntresses have a chorus followed by Nancy having an aria.

    Here is an English libretto so you can follow along:
    http://www.opera-arias.com/flotow/ma...retto/english/
    Necessities of life: food, water, air, shelter, and opera.

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    Opera Lively News Coordinator Top Contributor Member MAuer's Avatar
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    I also have the Popp-Jerusalem version and like it very much. (Their pronunciation of "Derby" is amusing -- Popp goes for the American "Durby," while Jerusalem comes out with a very Germanic "Dehrrby.") I noticed that the complete EMI recording with Anneliese Rothenberger and Fritz Wunderlich no longer seems to be available; Amazon only has a highlights disc.

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    Senior Member Top Contributor Member Florestan's Avatar
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    Here is the Popp Jerusalem set (according to the YT poster):
    Necessities of life: food, water, air, shelter, and opera.

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    I have bought one recording some years ago, and have left it on the shelve. Some years later I was bored and decided i should give it a try, oh boy, Martha was one of the great discoveries in my short "opera lover life". letzte Rose is just WoW. I can't say witch recording I have, since I have left it (as most of my stuff) in my parents house, but it's a (live?) perfromance from Berlin (I think, it was Germany auf jeden Fall) 1944 I think, it was during a war anyway. Sound quality was, ugh, good (more bad then good) but I have enjoyed it anyway. I want to but that studio recording with Rothenberger

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    Senior Member Top Contributor Member Florestan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DasNino View Post
    I have bought one recording some years ago, and have left it on the shelve. Some years later I was bored and decided i should give it a try, oh boy, Martha was one of the great discoveries in my short "opera lover life". letzte Rose is just WoW. I can't say witch recording I have, since I have left it (as most of my stuff) in my parents house, but it's a (live?) perfromance from Berlin (I think, it was Germany auf jeden Fall) 1944 I think, it was during a war anyway. Sound quality was, ugh, good (more bad then good) but I have enjoyed it anyway. I want to but that studio recording with Rothenberger
    1944 is this one (a fine performance, but as you say, sound is poor):

    Wikipedia says: Johannes Schüler, conductor / Erna Berger, Harriet / Else Tegetthoff, Nancy / Peter Anders, Lyonel / Josef Greindl, Plumkett; Chor der Staatsoper Berlin; Staatskapelle Berlin, 1944, live in Berlin

    Hey, this may have great value as it appears to be the only live performance recording other than the You Tube video, which has cuts.
    Necessities of life: food, water, air, shelter, and opera.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Florestan View Post
    1944 is this one (a fine performance, but as you say, sound is poor):

    Wikipedia says: Johannes Schüler, conductor / Erna Berger, Harriet / Else Tegetthoff, Nancy / Peter Anders, Lyonel / Josef Greindl, Plumkett; Chor der Staatsoper Berlin; Staatskapelle Berlin, 1944, live in Berlin

    Hey, this may have great value as it appears to be the only live performance recording other than the You Tube video, which has cuts.
    yes it must be, cuz brilliant classics had so many cheap releases and all of them were avaiable back in the day in Serbia, i bought marta for like 60 cents and i thoug oh hell, whatever for that money it can be bad turns out the sound is bad but opera is actually really good

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    Senior Member Top Contributor Member Florestan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DasNino View Post
    yes it must be, cuz brilliant classics had so many cheap releases and all of them were avaiable back in the day in Serbia, i bought marta for like 60 cents and i thoug oh hell, whatever for that money it can be bad turns out the sound is bad but opera is actually really good
    Yep, stick with Wallberg or Heger and the sound is very good.
    Necessities of life: food, water, air, shelter, and opera.

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    Senior Member Top Contributor Member Florestan's Avatar
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    Wallberg and Heger being the two Martha recordings with great sound quality, I thought it worthwhile to post this Gramophone article which compares these two. The reviewer finds flaws in both, but prefers the Heger set overall as a "livelier production" with "fuller-bodied sound." He finds "the verve and freshness of Fassbaender and Prey" preferable to the "staid and flavourless by comparison" Doris Soffel and Karl Ridderbusch. He notes "the charm and vivacity of Lucia Popp" on the Wallberg set, vs the "very competent vocally but almost totally inexpressive" Rothenberger. Gedda is preferred to Jerusalem, but not a perfect performance from Gedda. All that said, I now have to revisit these two recordings because I tended to find the Wallberg set preferable to the Heger set.

    Necessities of life: food, water, air, shelter, and opera.

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