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This song has a female voice pronouncing only the syllable "la", and there are strings (violins, cellos, etcetera). It is not very old, perhaps from the 1970's, and probably from France. I remember reading (many years ago when I knew it's name) that it was described as "contemporary classic music" or "modern classic music".

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This question is pretty old, but on the off chance that you still have not found the song, could it be "Concerto pour une Voix" by Saint-Preux? It dates back to 1969 and is widely regarded as a contemporary classical piece, like you mentioned in your post. The vocals in Danielle Lecari's original version combine quite seamlessly with the orchestral music in the background, creating a hauntingly beautiful melody.

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    Thank you very much! That is exactly the song I was looking for!
    – algo
    Jan 30 at 22:22
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Could it be this ? : #5 from Villa-Lobos "Bachianas Brasileiras". Soprano and orchestra of 'cellos. Admittedly I think she sings "ah" rather than "la"....

Added: Some more links about the piece, (which was written in 1938) and Heitor Villa-Lobos

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There's a version of the song Yeul's Theme from Final Fantasy XIII-2 where all the lyrics of the song are replaced for La. It is a female vocals with strings (and also a Piano). It matches most of your specifications.

https://youtu.be/fxTCCeE0uvQ

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  • I am afraid it isn't this one. The one I am thinking of I am sure is from the 1970's probably, and all the instruments or the most prominent ones are all strings, specially violins, and I think there is some pizzicato.
    – algo
    Sep 22, 2018 at 14:18
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As Angst did back in September, I immediately thought of the Villa-Lobos piece. But I wonder if it might be "Un homme et une femme" by Francis Lai.

It's from the 1966 film of the same name and it's isn't any kind of classical music, but people often describe music wrongly. It's French chanson really, with a Brazilian, bossa-nova feel. I'm afraid this arrangement - which is probably the original - isn't all strings, but if it's the right song you could search for other arrangements.

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