I'm guessing that anyone reading about this 1994 collaboration between Brit singer Felicity Lott and French conductor Armin Jordan will first want to know: how good is this music anyway? I've been listening to this disc for the last month and I'm afraid I'm still not clear in my opinion, for what it's worth. I believe there are two very fine mini-song cycles recorded here, Maurice Delage's 1913 Four Hindu Poems, which has been recorded several times elsewhere, and an obscure but absolutely striking cycle by another Maurice, Maurice Jaubert, named "Saisir".
I can't be more definitive because Lott's musicianship is wayward and at times confused. While I have admired her work in both concert and in the studio at other times, Lott's phrasing and interpretation of melodic material seems underdeveloped in this disc, with little difference in inflection or dynamic. "Saisir" ends with a slow five-minute song which reprises material from the other, earlier songs, including a memorable low solo piano accompaniment phrase, but Lott drifts along, without adding direction or understanding to the music. I was able to directly compare Lott's rendition of Delage's Four Hindu Poems to the very fine rendition by Dawn Upshaw (on "The Girl with the Orange Lips") and think Upshaw's version is comprehensively better shaped and conceived. Ernest Chausson's earlier "Chanson Perpetuelle" is added on at the end and suffers from many of the same flaws.
Armin Jordan is a consistently good conductor of French music, with very few misses and he leads the Paris Chamber Orchestra here, again, very credibly. The engineered sound is actually downright excellent. So this disc suffers from a deficient and substandard interpretation by a normally-excellent Felicity Lott. It has the virtue of allowing me to discover a truly rare gem, "Saisir," and appears to be the only recording of that work out now, so if you are an aficionado of French song, you might want to get the disc for that alone.