July 19, 2009

Debussy and daughter picnicing_b0427.jpg

(Claude Debussy lunching with his daughter and musical dedicatee Jouxjoux)

A little something orchestral this Sunday. A 1932 recording of Debussy's Childrens Corner Suite, as performed by the Paris Conservatory, conducted by Piero Coppola.

Coppola (no relation to Francis or Carmine, by the way), was House Conductor for His Masters Voice offices in Paris from 1923-1934. He was responsible for much of the French repertoire to be recorded and heard all over the world, in many cases for the first time. Debussy was reported to have admired his work, although there's no record of him actually hearing Coppola perform. Still, what Coppola recorded, for the most part, had the distinction of being the first conductor of international stature to bring attention to what was considered a lot of "modern" compositions before the record buying public. One of the most famous recordings he was associated with was Prokofiev's 3rd Piano concerto with the composer at the piano.

Coppola pretty much went into retirement during the war, and only surfaced briefly to conduct some session for the newly developed Full Frequency Range Recordings that Decca was producing in the late 1940's. Coppola died in 1971 and left a rich legacy of milestone recordings from the 78 era.

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