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Piero Coppola Conducts Debussy

Debussy / Paris Conservatory Orch / Coppola
Release Date: 10/11/2011 
Label:  Dutton Laboratories/Vocalion   Catalog #: 9806   Spars Code: ADD 
Composer:  Claude Debussy
Conductor:  Piero Coppola
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 1 Hours 7 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews

This disc is interesting on many levels: as a souvenir of the art of Piero Coppola, as evidence of the consistency of the French style of orchestral playing from the pre-War years through the mid 1960s, and as an impressive Debussy program. Take your pick. Coppola was an excellent conductor of the French (or perhaps better, Latin) school. His rhythms were sharp, tempos swift, the ensemble neat and precise. For a fine example of the kind of interpreter he was, consider the big cello theme in the first movement of La Mer. It has all of the above characteristics.

The quick tempos may raise a few eyebrows today, especially in Nuages and the finale of Iberia, but despite the limited recording (1932-8), the music making never
Read more sounds blurred, and the orchestra is recognizably the same characterful group featured later on those HMV and Decca stereo recordings: wiry strings, plangent woodwinds, piecing brass. Nothing blends with anything else: it’s just wonderful, and so much more fun than most historical recordings of German repertoire simply because the orchestration is so much more vivid. You also get a nice bonus in Coppola’s wholly plausible orchestration of Soirée dans Grenade.

Fans of historical recordings often like to compare editions of the same performance to see which transfer has marginally more of this or that quality. I don’t especially care. They all sound pretty lousy to me, and this one is no exception. The sonics are simply a liability to be endured and minimized if the music making still manages to come through the quagmire. It sure does here.

-- David Hurwitz, ClassicsToday.com
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Works on This Recording

1.
Images for Orchestra: no 2, Ibéria by Claude Debussy
Conductor:  Piero Coppola
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1905-1908; France 
Venue:  Salle Rameau, Paris 
Length: 19 Minutes 0 Secs. 
2.
Estampes: No. 2. Soirée dans Grenade by Claude Debussy
Conductor:  Piero Coppola
Period: Modern 
Written: 1903; France 
Venue:  Salle Rameau, Paris 
Length: 4 Minutes 50 Secs. 
3.
La mer by Claude Debussy
Conductor:  Piero Coppola
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1903-1905; France 
Venue:  Salle Rameau, Paris 
Length: 20 Minutes 6 Secs. 
4.
Nocturnes (3) for Orchestra by Claude Debussy
Conductor:  Piero Coppola
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1897-1899; France 
Date of Recording: 05/18/1938 
Venue:  Studio Albert, Paris 
Length: 22 Minutes 17 Secs. 

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