An up-and-coming French singer was recently quoted as saying that veteran British soprano Felicity Lott "sings French better than most French singers." Dame Lott certainly sings beautifully (and drama

An up-and-coming French singer was recently quoted as saying that veteran British soprano Felicity Lott "sings French better than most French singers." Dame Lott certainly sings beautifully (and dramatically) here, in Poulenc's classic 1958 setting of Jean Cocteau's 45-minute lyrical tragedy of the "lonely woman" La Voix Humaine. Adult "separation anxiety" has rarely been so strikingly essayed as in this work, and Lott puts forth a tour de force performance. The brief accompanying piece—the monologue La Dame de Monte-Carlo of 1961—is another Poulenc/Cocteau collaboration, an even more tragic take on loneliness and despair. Again, Lott and her orchestral accompaniment are magnificent. A definitive disc.—BB

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