I was looking through my volumes of Piero Coppola’s work on the defunct Dante/LYS label, and didn’t see this included, so I thought I would work with a cdr dub I made a few years ago from a friend’s 78 copy. Coppola, although Italian born, was of course very active making records as a conductor in France from 1923 until 1934, while he was the artistic director of La Voix de son Maître, the French branch of HMV. Probably his most widely circulated recording was of the Prokofiev Third Piano Concerto (with the London Symphony), with the composer as soloist. His very effective recording of the Saint-Saens Organ Symphony is worth reviving. If you can get your hands on it, there is a 1974 issue of the Sir Thomas Beecham Society’s newsletter, Le Grand Baton, which is entirely devoted to him.
Piero Coppola, conductor
Grand Orchestre Symphonique
Fr. HMV L 678 (recorded c. 1929)
The sound is very interesting on this, and many of his recordings of this period, it’s pretty live, unlike the norm in French orchestral recordings of this time. There’s an odd echo though, sort of a rebound, which you can hear best at the very end, which almost sounds manufactured. What do you think? In any case, it’s a carefree reading, which moves along nicely.
Note: For convenience sake, I’ve included this recording along with Coppola’s 1924 acoustic version in a different compilation. See this post.