Cleveland 2004


I'm just back from four concerts in Cleveland: three with the Cleveland Orchestra and Franz Welser-Möst, and one recital with the leader of the orchestra, William Preucil, and pianist Eugene Asti. The orchestra has a unique sound: warm and tender with a pianissimo that takes the breath away. They also have a most beautiful hall to perform in: Severance Hall which looks stunning and also has the most marvellous acoustics. We have nothing in London to come anywhere near rivalling it. I sang four Duparc songs, and the soprano solo in Debussy's "La Damoiselle Elue"- I loved that work, after having been rather lukewarm about it in advance! The mezzo was excellent- Elizabeth de Shong- and the women of the Oberlin College Choir sang most beautifully too. And I love to sing with Franz: we have been performing together for quite a few years now, and I love his sensitivity and generosity. He also led the orchestra in a thrilling performance of Brahms' Third Symphony.

We did our recital a couple of days later and I'm so sorry we only had one performance because the repertoire was largely new and I loved it! I would have liked to have had a few more concerts- especially since William  Preucil is such an extraordinary musician, and we had such fun, together with Eugene, performing music by Purcell and Handel, Gounod and Saint-Saens, and an outrageous piece by Stolz where William played the gypsy violinist of one's dreams! Thank you to everyone in Cleveland for making my stay there so memorable!  FL


"La Damoiselle elue" already finds Debussy in magical command of his narrative and musical forces. The tale of a lovelorn maiden who ascends to the heavens abounds in glowing images, all of which Debussy casts in evocative and soaring shadings. Lott sang the title role with her customary sensitivity to arching phrases and tonal subtlety, and she was joined by a sonorous mezzo-soprano, Elisabeth De Shong, and women of the Oberlin College Choir, who were aptly cherubic.
Welser-Möst led a controlled account of Debussy's score, and he was a sympathetic collaborator in the Duparc songs. Here, Lott savored the wistful emotions and Wagner-like ecstasy, and she vividly conveyed the urgent longing that makes these songs such ardent gems.
Cleveland Plain Dealer

"The impression conveyed by Lott in her orchestral appearances was more than confirmed in the more intimate recital setting. Her basic sound is solid and beautiful, and her voice is capable of exquisite shadings and dynamic contrasts.
The repertory was fascinating. Preucil joined Lott and Asti expertly in songs by Purcell, Handel, Gounod, Saint-Saens and Robert Stolz, as well as in encores by Bachelet and Richard Strauss. There was also a fascinating set of three short songs by Gustav Holst for soprano and violin alone. Lott and Asti offered songs by Purcell and Roger Quilter plus a delightful set of miniatures - humorous ditties addressed to a child - by Poulenc. Preucil also offered violin-and-piano items by Leclair, Gounod (the ubiquitous "Ave Maria") and Fritz Kreisler.
Lott was extremely affecting in the "Plaint" from Purcell's "The Fairy Queen," secure in the more florid vocal territory of one of Handel's German arias and utterly charming in the miniature suite "La Courte Paille" by Poulenc
Cleveland Plain Dealer