C1775. PIERO COPPOLA Cond. Radiodiffusion Française S.O.: Mozart, Debussy & Respighi (the latter's 'Pini di Roma); w.Denise Soriano-Boucherit: Romance #2 in F (Beethoven); Introduction et rondo capriccioso (Saint-Saëns). [An outstanding release. The Debussy in particular is truly enchanting! So revealing to hear Coppola's work in the concert hall not restricted to the confines of a studio!] (Canada) St Laurent Studio YSL T-827, Live Performance, 29 Dec., 1947. Transfers by Yves St Laurent.
“Denise Soriano (1916-2006) was a student of Jules Boucherit whom, many years later, and after a remarkable series of incidents, she was to marry - briefly, he hid her and numerous others in his house to escape the predatory French military police on the hunt for Jews. Her debut was in the mid-1930s and she soon began a series of important concert engagements in France, a period truncated by the War. After it she resumed her career, notably with a series of discs for Pathé and via a contract with Radiodiffusion Française. It was in 1956 that she married Boucherit - he was then nearly 80 and she 40. Gradually in the 1960s she taught more than she was to pursue a solo career, though she continued to appear on the concert stage, not least with her quartet. Her last public performance was in 2004. Soriano, like Jeanne Gautier and other players of that generation, was an important presence in French musical life."
- Jonathan Woolf
“Piero Coppola was a French conductor and HMV’s man in Paris, where he was prolific in the recording studio in the 1920s and 30s. His records sold well and deservedly so, though one has all too few opportunities to hear them now. He was, of course, a specialist in French repertoire, which he performed in the best French style - which to modern ears may seem very racy indeed. Tempos fluctuate, entries can be casual, ensemble is sometimes ragged - but oh, the sound is delicious and the performances radiate energy."
- David Radcliffe, AMERICAN RECORD GUIDE, March / April, 2012
“Italian conductor Piero Coppola was one of many twentieth-century baton wielders who was actually a closet composer. Like Michael Tilson Thomas and Esa-Pekka Salonen, and more presently Claudio Abbado, Coppola's own music was and is little-known to general audiences who think of him only as a conductor. The major music references are divided as to whether he should be ranked a conductor, a conductor and composer, or a composer and conductor. There is, in fact, some question as to just how much music Coppola actually wrote during his lifetime. But there is little question that he was among the best of the 'second-tier' Italian conductors (considering Toscanini to be the first tier) from World War I to his death in 1971.
Coppola was the son of tenor Vincenzo Coppola and Teresa Angeloni, a dramatic soprano. He studied music at the Conservatory in his hometown until taking his diploma (piano and composition) in 1910. It took him astonishingly little time to break into the business of conducting. In 1911 - 1912, he was already conducting at no less a venue than La Scala opera house. Just prior to the outbreak of World War I, Coppola was in Brussels conducting (opera again) and then, after a brief stay in England, he lived and worked in Scandinavia while the war ran its course. After the conflict ended, Coppola moved to France, where he became director of the recording company La Voix de son Maître (the French arm of HMV); he made a number of important records for the label during the late '20s and early '30s, including a disc of Prokofiev's Piano Concerto #3 with Prokofiev on the piano.
At Lausanne, from 1939 on, he distinguished himself in the conducting of French symphonic repertoire, working with l'Orchestre de Chambre de Lausanne, l'Orchestre de la Suisse Romande, and the orchestra of Radio Lugano. He introduced and performed many contemporary works by diverse composers such as Arthur Bliss, Béla Bartók, André Caplet, Jean Cras, Arthur Honegger, Giacomo Puccini's LA FANCIULLA DEL WEST (1911), Alexandre Tcherepnin, and Edgard Varèse. He also interpreted certain classics, mainly of the Romantic period, and notably the works of Robert Schumann.
After World War II, Coppola limited his travels, and thus his conducting, to the countries immediately around France. His work conducting in opera houses moved Coppola to compose a pair of operas himself; neither, however, has ever been heard much. There is also a full-scale symphony and a handful of shorter works with his name on them.”
- Blair Johnston, allmusic.com