B1804. PIERO COPPOLA. Dix-Sept Ans de Musique à Paris- 1922 - 1939. Lausanne, Librairie F. Rouge, 1944. 253 pp. Index. (French Text) Softbound.
“With the outbreak of World War II Coppola retired to Switzerland where he wrote his fascinating memoirs chronicling his time in the recording industry, Dix-sept ans de musique à Paris, 1922-1939 (1944). Born in Milan, Coppola studied at the Milan Conservatory, graduating in piano and composition in 1910. By 1911 he was already conducting opera at La Scala. That year he heard Debussy conduct his own compositions ‘Ibéria’ and’ Prélude à l’après-midi d’un faune’ in Turin: an experience that ‘had a decisive influence on his career’ He then worked in Brussels before spending the duration of World War I in Scandinavia. Between 1923 and 1934 he was the artistic director of La Voix de son Maître, the French branch of The Gramophone Company. In the late 1920s and 1930s Coppola conducted recordings of many works of Debussy and Ravel, including the first recordings of Debussy’s LA MER and Ravel’s BOLÉRO. Coppola’s conducting enjoyed the admiration of Debussy, although the composer never actually heard Coppola perform any of his works. His work in French repertoire has been widely praised. His recordings of Debussy have been described as ‘without rival for the period’, with his 1938 recording of NOCTURNES eulogized as a ‘masterpiece’ and among the early recordings ‘closest to Debussy’s thought’. His recording of Ravel’s LE TOMBEAU DE COUPERIN won the Grand Prix du Disque in 1932. Coppola also conducted the first recording of Prokofiev’s Third Piano Concerto, with Prokofiev himself as soloist, in June 1932.”