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Marta Eggerth

This double-CD salutes a living legend, whose international career on stage, film and disc is still going strong after 80 years. Hungarian-born soprano Marta Eggerth became the queen of Viennese operetta during the 1920s and 30s; Franz Lehár, Robert Stolz and Emmerich Kálmán, among others, wrote music expressly for her. Charming and beautiful, she found another career in films, making over 30 in four languages. CD 1 features songs from those of 1932-1937. They reveal a wonderfully fresh, pure voice produced with effortless virtuosity; every note is impeccably clear and in tune, with coloratura roulades and trills up to E-flat.

In 1936, Eggerth married the famous Polish opera tenor Jan Kiepura; strikingly handsome, he was another "natural" for films. It was a match made in heaven, and when they appeared together on stage and screen, they captivated audiences with their singing as well as their love-story. One of their greatest "hits" was Lehár's "Merry Widow;" they gave 2000 performances on two continents in five languages.

After Kiepura's tragically early death in 1966, Eggerth stopped singing, but, urged by her family, later resumed her career. CD 2 features recordings of 1990-2002, some made at gala performances in Vienna and Linz. Her voice is almost unchanged; her vibrato is wider and she uses more mezza voce, but her ease and security are undiminished. However, it is her charm, her style and the pure joy she radiates that make her unique; in material that could easily become sentimental, she never loses her poise and natural simplicity. The disc includes more film and operetta songs, popular Viennese favorites, and her own "Merry Widow" medley, sung in four languages. Jan Kiepura joins her in an intimate love-duet from Lehár's "Der Zarewitsch," in which she warns him that all mortal things perish; recorded in 1955, it is uncannily prophetic and achingly moving. Her primary pianist is William Hicks; in three Chopin songs, sung in Polish, her son, Marjan Kiepura, partners her; both are splendid. --Edith Eisler

Album Description

Patria Productions, Inc. is proud to announce the release of a dual CD album of Hungarian soprano Marta Eggerth, star of stage and screen. A living legend from the world of operetta, lieder and European movies, this CD album represents a 73 year recorded legacy of recordings from the early 1930s to the present.

Marta Eggerth made some 40 movies mostly in Europe before World War II and appeared in numerous operetta roles most notably as Hanna Glawari in Lehár's The Merry Widow on Broadway together with her husband, the Polish tenor Jan Kiepura.

This album contains her most famous repertoire including selections by Franz Lehár, Emmerich Kalman, Robert Stolz, Paul Abraham and other operetta luminaries, who specially wrote works for her. She has established herself as one of the most famous exponents of the operetta genre till today.

Divided into two CDs, CD-1 includes her early opera recordings of arias by Puccini, Bellini and Rossini and her many songs made famous by her movies.

CD-2 are recordings spanning from 1955 to 2002 of her favorite numbers including songs by Robert Stolz, John Kander, Fritz Kreisler and her own arrangement of medleys from The Merry Widow, Kalman's Princess Czardas and Hungarian selections. There are also lieder from Ravel and Chopin.

Mme Eggerth is heard in six languages. Extensive booklet notes are provided with many photos from her illustrious career. There are previously unreleased material and live excerpts from recent concerts.

Marta Eggerth remains active singing till today, at nearly 93 years of age.

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