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.
"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.
"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.
Cleveland Plain Dealer