ISAAC ALBÉNIZ (1860-1909)
Some improvisations by this well-known Spanish composer were privately recorded on cylinders around 1903 and have been issued on VAI 1001 ("The Catalan Piano Tradition").
EUGEN d'ALBERT (1864-1932)
A complete edition of d'Albert's commercial recordings is available on ARBITER 147 (two CDs) although some listeners will prefer less noisy transfer work. An earlier d'Albert CD, SYMPOSIUM 1146, contains a partial selection in noisy transfers but also offers the first movement of Beethoven's Concerto No.5 which d'Albert recorded in a German radio studio shortly before his death; Arbiter does not include this item. A few d'Albert 78s can also be found on IPAM 1206 ("A Multitude of Pianists") and PEARL 9972 (Pupils of Liszt).
GÉZA ANDA (1921-1976)
This notable Hungarian virtuoso, a pupil of Dohnányi, made numerous LP discs for English Columbia (now on Testament CDs) and for DG. His earliest recordings, however, were a series of Polydor 78s issued during World War II. Some but not all of them (with music of Franck, Schumann, Chopin, and Paganini-Liszt-Busoni), are available in a 5-CD compilation of Anda performances on DG (4775289).
CONRAD ANSORGE (1862-1930)
This Liszt pupil was especially known for his Beethoven interpretations, but very little by him is available on CD. Two recordings can be found in Pearl's "Pupils of Liszt" set (PEARL 9972).
CLAUDIO ARRAU (1903-1991)
A well known Chilean pianist and pupil of Martin Krause, who made his first recording in 1921 and his last in 1991. Arrau's complete pre-war recordings can be found on MARSTON 52023 (two CDs). A somewhat similar compilation of early Arrau discs has been issued by Pearl (GEMS 0070, two CDs). Unfortunately, transfer engineer Roger Beardsley has botched the side join in Balakirev's "Islamey" by eliminating the crucial bass octave that begins side two of the original Polydor 78. In addition, some German broadcast studio recordings are available on MUSIC & ARTS 1060 (two CDs). His early-1940s solo Victor sets of Mozart and Beethoven have been reissued on NAXOS 8.110603 in dull-sounding transfers. Two additional NAXOS discs contain much better transfers (by Mark Obert-Thorn) of other 1940s Arrau recordings. On 8.111263 are his Beethoven Concerto No.3 with Ormandy, Weber's Konzertstück conducted by Defauw, and the Weber Sonata No.1, while NAXOS 8.111265 offers the Schumann Concerto and Strauss Burleske.
As of late 2016, all of Arrau's Victor items (including the Bach Goldberg Variations and Mozart's Fantasy K.475, neither originally issued on 78s), plus all the material he recorded for American Columbia from 1947 through 1952, can be had in a 12-CD Sony/BMG set: 307165.
GINA BACHAUER (1910-1976)
Most of Bachauer's recordings were made during the LP era for HMV and for Mercury. However, her earliest recordings, beginning in 1949, were on HMV 78s. Almost all of these have now been reissued on APR 5643. The repertoire focuses on Mozart, Liszt and Bach-Busoni.
FRIDTJOF BACKER-GRØNDAHL (1885-1959)
A Norwegian pianist who was coached by both Grieg and Dohnanyi, Backer-Grøndahl is represented on CD by several Grieg solo pieces on SIMAX 1809 ("Historic Interpretations of Grieg"; three CDs)
WILHELM BACKHAUS (1884-1969)
Backhaus' pre-WW2 recordings have been widely reissued on a variety of labels. BIDDULPH released three CDs of Brahms (LHW 17, 18 and 19), plus Beethoven Concertos 4 and 5 (LHW 37), and all of his rare 1916 Polydor recordings (LHW 38). NAXOS has also issued the same Backhaus Brahms recordings (solo pieces and both concertos), albeit in different couplings, on 8.110699, 8.110766, and 8.111041. APR has now released a late-2018 CD set with new transfers by Mark Obert-Thorn of Backhaus's complete Chopin Etudes for HMV (the first-ever version), the Schumann Fantasy, and various shorter works by Liszt and others; this compilation is available on APR 6026, two discs. Also now available on APR are all of Backhaus's early HMV Beethoven recordings (APR 6027, two discs). PEARL has issued several Backhaus CDs: a collection of Schumann (Fantasy in C), Bach, and Schubert (PEARL 0046), his complete British acoustic recordings (PEARL 0102, two discs), a single CD of Brahms solos (PEARL 9835), and a single disc of Chopin (Etudes) and Liszt (PEARL 9902). The Japanese label SHINSEIDO issued a 12-CD series of selected recordings made between 1908 and 1948 (SHINSEIDO 1501-1512), but these are difficult to obtain. The now-defunct DANTE label also issued a series of Backhaus CDs, and ANDANTE 2999 (four CDs) contains a good selection.
SIMON BARERE (1896-1951)
Like his younger compatriot Vladimir Horowitz, Barere studied with Felix Blumenfeld. Barere's complete HMV recordings from the mid-1930s can be found on an APR 2-CD set: APR 6002. A selection of his HMV 78s appears on PEARL 0012. A series of live Barere recordings from Carnegie Hall is underway on the APR label. Five volumes (APR 5621, 5622, 5623, 5624, 5625) cover all the existing live Barere material including his Rachmaninoff Concerto No.2, plus some off-the-air performances and his early Odeon 78s (the latter on 5625). Finally, Barere's last (1951) studio sessions for Remington have reappeared on CEMBAL D'AMOUR 114 in less-than-ideal restorations.
BÉLA BARTÓK (1881-1945)
The Hungarian composer-pianist's complete recordings have been reissued by HUNGAROTON in two multi-CD sets (Vol 1: HUNGAROTON 12326/31; Vol 2: HUNGAROTON 12334/7). A sampling from this legacy has been issued on EMI 55031 and PEARL 9166. Bartok’s American Columbia recordings from the 1940s have been reissued on Naxos Historical 8.111343.
HAROLD BAUER (1873-1951)
Three CDs on BIDDULPH (LHW 7, 9 and 11) contain Bauer's complete solo recordings (1924-1942) for Victor and for Schirmer. These have now been superseded by a 3-CD set (APR 7302) containing new transfers by Ward Marston of the same materials. Bauer's 1925 Brahms Piano Quintet (with the Flonzaley Quartet) was reissued on BIDDULPH LAB 72/3. For his single Victor 78 with Ossip Gabrilowitsch, see under Gabrilowitsch.
ANDRÉ BENOIST (1880-1953)
Born in Paris, Benoist was acquainted with Saint-Saëns, Franck and other great musicians. His career was almost entirely devoted to collaborative ventures with major violinists, cellists and singers. Benoist's performances of the Franck and Brahms A Major Sonatas with Albert Spalding (on early 1930s Victor 78s) have been transferred to A CLASSICAL RECORD ACR 42.
ALEXANDER BOROVSKY (1889-1968)
A Russian pupil of Essipov, he was the second pianist to record the first 15 Hungarian Rhapsodies of Liszt (Mark Hambourg was the first). These Polydor 78s from the late 1930s have been reissued on PEARL 9235 (two CDs), along with Borovsky playing several Bach works. (Borovsky's later recordings, also devoted to Bach and Liszt, were mono LP releases on the Vox label.)
UNA BOURNE (1882-1974)
Bourne was an Australian pianist who made a number of HMV 78s in the early 1920s. The only CD reissue of her so far is in SIMAX 1809 (three CDs; "Historic Interpretations of Grieg"), where Bourne plays four short Grieg works.
YORK BOWEN (1884-1861)
This important British composer-pianist made many discs for Vocalion of varied repertoire during the 1920s. These include the first-ever recording of Beethoven's Concerto No. 4 (with Bowen's own cadenzas). A recent 2-CD set from APR (6007) contains his complete early recordings in transfers by Ward Marston.
JOHANNES BRAHMS (1833-1897)
In 1889, Brahms was recorded on an Edison cylinder playing a portion of his own Hungarian Dance No.1. The badly damaged and barely audible cylinder has been reissued as part of Pearl's "Pupils of Clara Schumann" box set (PEARL 99049)
ALEXANDER BRAILOWSKY (1896-1976)
Although Brailowsky recorded into the 1960s, his earlier 78rpm recordings are generally considered his best. His first discs (Berlin, 1928-1934) may be found on DANACORD 336/7 and DANACORD 338/9, but the transfers are plagued with several problems. However, Danacord has now issued improved transfers (as of May 2019) under the same catalog number. A one-disc selection of these Polydor recordings was once available on PEARL 9132. Completely new transfers of Brailowsky's Polydors by Mark Obert-Thorn were released by Pristine in early 2019. APR 5501 contains his 1938 London HMV recordings. Some of Brailowsky's later Victor 78rpms were issued on BMG 68164 (all Chopin) and BMG 68165 ("Virtuoso Showpieces") Now available as of August 2018 is an 8-CD boxed set from RCA with all of Brailowsky's Chopin recordings for that label. Included are his first (78 rpm) traversal of the "standard 14" Waltzes (recorded 1941) plus his 1947 set of the 27 Etudes.
RICHARD BUHLIG (1880-1952)
Buhlig was a Chicago-born Leschetizky pupil who later settled in Los Angeles but made no commercial discs. A private mid-1930s recording of Buhlig's two-piano transcription of Bach's Art of the Fugue, in which he is joined by Wesley Kuhnle, has been released on PEARL 0150. DANTE HPC 15 included private Buhlig recordings of Bach and Beethoven recorded in 1938. A better transfer of his Bach Chromatic Fantasy and Fugue is available in IPAM 1206 ("A Multitude of Pianists"; two CDs).
FERRUCCIO BUSONI (1866-1924)
Busoni approved only four 78rpm discs for English Columbia in 1922. All of them have been issued on ARBITER 134, SYMPOSIUM 1145, and PEARL 9347. However, listeners who favor smoother, significantly less noisy dubbings will likely prefer NAXOS 8.110777, with transfers by Ward Marston together with works of Busoni played by his pupils Petri, Zadora, and Edward Weiss.
GABY CASADESUS (1901-1999)
Wife of Robert Casadesus and pupil of Diémer. All of her solo 78rpm recordings were reissued in a 3-CD set: DANTE HPC 155/7.
ROBERT CASADESUS (1899-1972)
His early recordings have been reissued on a variety of labels. On APR 5601 are three live concerto performances with Barbirolli from the 1930s. Various works by French composers can be found on CASCAVELLE 2012 and CLASSICAL COLLECTOR 150072. EMI 69467 (part of the "French Pianists" series) contains his 1937 recording of 11 Scarlatti Sonatas. On PEARL 0068 may be found his first version of the Chopin Ballades plus works by Schumann, Ravel and others. French Sony has produced a sizable Casadesus edition mostly devoted to his later recordings, but a few items that originated on 78rpm are included. The defunct Dante label also issued a series of Casadesus CDs. In March 2019, Sony released a mammoth 65-CD box of all of Casadesus's recordings for American Columbia, dating from 1939 on. Scheduled for October 2019 release from APR is a 4-CD set of Casadesus's complete early (1928-39) discs for French Columbia, in transfers by Mark Obert-Thorn that will supersede all earlier CDs of this material. Included will be a previously-unissued 1931 version of the Mozart Concerto K537 (APR 7404)..
ALFREDO CASELLA (1883 - 1947)
This significant Italian composer was also highly regarded as a pianist. FONOTECA FT-97.11.03 contains almost all of Casella's piano recordings, of his own works and those of other composers.
CECILE CHAMINADE (1857-1944)
The six piano recordings this French composer made in 1901 have been reissued on APR 5533.
ABRAM CHASINS (1903-1987)
Although best known for his book "Speaking of Pianists," Chasins was also a pianist and composer. A few recordings from 1931 of Chasins playing his own works were included in IPAM 1206 ("A Multitude of Pianists"). At the same 1931 sessions Chasins also recorded Mendelssohn's Variations Serieuses, now released for the first time in "Landmarks of Recorded Pianism" (MARSTON 52073).
SHURA CHERKASSKY (1909-1995)
Cherkassky made 78rpm recordings for several labels. His first discs for Victor (some as early as 1923) were reissued on BIDDULPH LHW 34, along with his only chamber music collaboration (with Marcel Hubert in Rachmaninoff's Cello Sonata). Cherkassky's later 78s for Vox and for Cupol were reissued on both IVORY CLASSICS 72003 and PEARL 0138. Sonically, the latter is preferable to Ivory's more heavily-processed transfers.
MARCEL CIAMPI (1891-1980)
Ciampi studied with Diémer and recorded some early electrical solo and chamber music discs for French Columbia. Ciampi can be heard in the Franck Quintet on Tympani 4C4017, and the Marston label has released a "Lagniappe" CD of Ciampi's solo 78s.
HARRIET COHEN (1895-1967)
A complete edition of Cohen's solo recordings is now available in a 3-CD set from APR (7304) with transfers by Mark Obert-Thorn. Among earlier reissues, BIDDULPH LHW 23 contains her recording of the first nine Bach Preludes and Fugues from the "48". NAXOS 8.110658 (a CD of various players in Bach transcriptions) includes one track by her. On PEARL 0101 Cohen plays Hubert Bath's "Cornish Rhapsody." Her recording of the Bax Viola Sonata with William Primrose may be found on PEARL 9453, and her Brahms Viola Sonata in F Minor with Lionel Tertis is on PEARL 9918. Finally, in Japan some selected Cohen 78s were reissued on YAMANO 1066.
GEORGE COPELAND (1882-1971)
The complete solo Victor 78rpm recordings of this respected interpreter of French and Spanish music were reissued on PEARL 0001 (two CDs). A collection of later private recordings by Copeland may be found on PEARL 0121.
ALFRED CORTOT (1877-1962)
Cortot was one of the most recorded pianists of the 78rpm era. His very first discs were made around 1902 as accompanist to soprano Felia Litvinne. All of the Litvinne/Cortot discs have been transferred to CD on MARSTON 52049.
In late 2012, EMI Classics produced a 40-CD "Cortot Anniversary" box (04907) with a substantially complete assemblage of all of his issued recordings for Victor and for HMV (the Litvinne collaborations are not included). Multiple versions of the same composition are fully represented throughout. The level of transfer work, especially for the acoustical 78s, has been the subject of some debate, but overall the dubbings are completely acceptable and often better than that, and the price of the set, slightly over $2.00 per disc from many online sources, is attractive. Of particular interest are previously unissued late versions of Chopin's Ballades and Preludes, plus three discs of Beethoven sonatas from the same period (not all complete, but some with commentary). Also included are Cortot's elusive early 1950s sessions for Japanese Victor. There are a couple of production errors (with the same performance presented twice), and the booklet should have included an index to all the included repertoire. Nonetheless, this is one of the most significant historic piano reissues of recent years.
Cortot's earliest solo piano recordings (1919-1925) can be found on BIDDULPH LHW 14/15, "Complete Victor Acoustic Recordings." PEARL 9836 also contains recordings from those years. Shorter works recorded between 1925 and 1939 can be found on BIDDULPH LHW 20. Cortot's earliest electrical discs for Victor (1925-26) are now available on NAXOS 8.111261.
Cortot recorded many of Chopin's works, some multiple times. The four Ballades were recorded in both 1929 and 1933. The earlier cycle can be found on NAXOS 8. 111245. The later version is included in EMI's six-CD box of Chopin (EMI 67359). He also recorded the 24 Etudes twice (1933-34 and 1942). The earlier version is preferable and has been well transferred on NAXOS 8.111052, but less impressively in the EMI box, which also includes the 1942 account. There were three approved Cortot studio recordings of the 24 Chopin Preludes. The 1926 cycle is on NAXOS 8.111023 (with the four Impromptus); the 1933-34 version is on EMI 61050 (also with the Impromptus), and the less desirable 1942 traversal is included in the EMI box. The Chopin Sonatas Op.35 and Op.58 were both recorded twice on 78s. The 1928 version of Op.35 is available on NAXOS 8.111065, while the 1933 remake is on MUSIC & ARTS 717 and in the EMI box. For Op.58, there are recordings from 1931 and 1933. The former may be found in the EMI set and MUSIC & ARTS 717; for the 1933 recording, NAXOS 8.111065 is the source. Chopin's "standard 14" Waltzes exist in Cortot recordings from 1934 and 1942. Only four Waltzes from the earlier version were included in the EMI box, even though there was ample room for all - a clear example of careless planning. Fortunately, NAXOS 8.111035 offers the complete set plus interesting later versions of several Waltzes. Other Chopin by Cortot includes six Nocturnes, the Barcarolle, Berceuse, Tarantelle and Polonaise Op.53. All are in the EMI box and are used as fillers in the above-mentioned Naxos CDs.
Cortot's recordings of other romantic period composers are well represented on CD, as are his recordings of impressionist repertoire. PEARL 9396 is devoted entirely to Liszt, including the Sonata. M&A 4662 contains several Liszt works, among them the Sonata, plus the Weber Sonata No.2. The Weber was also issued on BIDDULPH LHW 2 along with music of Mendelssohn. Three Biddulph CDs are entirely devoted to Schumann (LHW 3, 4, and 5). There is also BIDDULPH LHW 21, with acoustic versions of Carnaval and the Piano Concerto (both from 1923) along with works by Debussy. Further Debussy recordings and some Ravel can be found on BIDDULPH LHW 6. Additional all-Schumann CDs include PEARL 9391 and 9392, and M&A 4858 (a two-CD set). The Naxos Historical series has issued several further CDs of Cortot recordings in excellent transfers by Mark Obert-Thorn.
Most of the remaining Cortot CDs contain either French repertoire, concertos, or chamber music. For concertos there is PEARL 9491 (Chopin No.2, Ravel Left Hand, and Saint-Saëns No.4); M&A 718 (Chopin, Schumann, and Franck Variations); Naxos 8.110612 (Chopin No.2 and the 1934 Schumann); Naxos 8.110613 (Franck, Saint-Saëns, and Ravel Left Hand).
For Cortot in chamber music (usually with Thibaud and/or Casals) there is BIDDULPH LAB 14 (Franck Violin Sonata), LAB 28 (Haydn Trio in G, Beethoven Kreutzer Sonata, Bach Brandenburg Concerto No.5), and LAB 29 (Franck Quintet, Chausson Concert, Fauré Berceuse). On Naxos there is 8.110195 (Beethoven chamber works), 8.110188 (Beethoven, Schubert, Haydn), and 8.110185 (Mendelssohn and Schumann Trios). EMI 63032 contains some French chamber works. Lastly, there is BIDDULPH LHW 27 containing solo, chamber, and piano-and-orchestra works by Franck.
A series of APR releases (5571, 5572, 5573, and 5574) is devoted to Cortot's postwar recordings for HMV; the majority of these duplicate repertoire on his earlier (and generally better) discs. In Japan, selected late Cortot recordings have appeared among the numerous releases from Toshiba EMI and Shinseido.
Finally, there are two volumes devoted to Cortot in the Philips "Great Pianists of the 20th Century" CD series. The first volume has become notorious for its erroneous inclusion in the initial pressings of an inferior, previously-unissued Schumann Kreisleriana from the 1950s. This was quickly withdrawn and the intended 1935 version was substituted. The second volume attributes the Debussy Preludes to 1949, but in actuality it contains Cortot's earlier and better 1930-31 recording.
CLIFFORD CURZON (1907-1982)
The majority of Curzon's recordings were made from the 1950s onward, but his earlier recordings do have availability on CD. DUTTON LABS 5507 contains his Brahms First Concerto and Mozart Concerto No.23 from 1946 and 1945 respectively. PEARL 0027 has both solo and concerted works recorded between 1936 and 1947. Curzon's 1946 Brahms First Concerto is also on PEARL 0041 coupled with Falla's "Nights in the Gardens of Spain." DECCA has an extensive Curzon representation in its "Original Masters" series, consisting of four multi-disc sets. The second, third and fourth volumes (475 084, 475 6786, and 475 820) include various 78rpm recordings by Curzon along with later releases. Beyond the foregoing, Decca 478 4389 is a mammoth 23-CD set offering all of Curzon's Decca material, including several previously-unissued sides from the 78rpm era.
HALINA CZERNY-STEFANSKA (1922-2001)
This noted Polish pianist, originally just Halina Stefanska, was a descendent (through her father) of Carl Czerny and studied variously with Cortot, Turczynski, and Drzewiecki. Her name became more widely known when it was discovered that the Chopin E Minor Concerto recording that appeared in 1966 attributed to Lipatti was actually Czerny-Stefanska's 1955 Supraphon performance. She made a number of 78-rpm discs for HMV in 1949-51. These--devoted entirely to Chopin--have been reissued on Pearl GEM 0209. Unfortunately the production is marred by transfer engineer Roger Beardsley's inept side-join at 3:56 in the G Minor Ballade. Furthermore, the nearly worthless booklet notes by Jeremy Siepmann manage to say next to nothing about Czerny-Stefanska's background or career.
JEANNE-MARIE DARRÉ (1905-1999)
With one exception, Darré's 78rpm discs, made for Vocalion, Pathé, and HMV, can all be found in the 2-CD set VAI 1065: "Jeanne-Marie Darré: The Early Recordings." The bulk of her recorded lagacy appears on discs from the 1950s and 60s for French EMI and Vanguard.
FANNY DAVIES (1861-1934)
The three surviving English Columbia recordings of this Clara Schumann pupil, devoted to Robert Schumann's Concerto, Davidsbundler (abridged) and Kinderscenen, can be found in the Pearl "Pupils of Clara Schumann" box set (PEARL 99049).
CLAUDE DEBUSSY (1862-1918)
In 1904, Debussy recorded four sides of his own music accompanying soprano Mary Garden. These have been reissued on Pierian 1 and on EMI 61038. However, a fairly recent Marston release (52054, two CDs) makes use of advanced technology to remove nearly all the distracting flutter that has afflicted previous incarnations of these historic discs. The same collection includes new transfers of the complete recordings of Saint-Saëns, Grieg, and Pugno -- all among the greatest rarities of early recordings.
(Debussy's reproducing piano rolls--which are often cited in discussions of his playing--are problematic, like all roll recordings. They have appeared on numerous LPs and CDs of widely varying reliability.)
ARTHUR DeGREEF (1862-1940)
This Belgian pianist studied with Liszt and was a friend of Grieg and Saint-Saëns. His recordings, all for HMV, span the acoustic and electrical eras. A 4-CD set (APR 7401) contains DeGreef's complete electrical solo and concerto recordings in transfers by Mark Obert-Thorn. Pearl has produced several CDs of his recordings. PEARL 0080 has the Grieg Concerto, Chopin Sonata No. 2 (the work's first complete recording), and various solo works. PEARL 9974 contains the Saint-Saëns Concerto No.2 plus shorter pieces by Grieg, Schumann, and others. A few Grieg performances were released on PEARL 9933 ("Grieg and His Circle"), while on SIMAX 1809 one finds all of DeGreef's solo Grieg recordings. DANTE HPC 57 was an all-Liszt CD that contained both Concertos and the Hungarian Fantasy. In addition, DeGreef collaborated with violinist Isolde Menges in the Beethoven "Kreutzer" Sonata, once available on BIDDULPH LAB 076.
LOUIS DIÉMER (1843-1919)
The few recordings made by this important French pedagogue for G&T (1904-06) are now available on two different reissues: Marston 52054 (two CDs, with the complete discs of Saint-Saëns, Grieg, Debussy and Pugno), and on APR 5534 ("Piano G&Ts, Volume 4").
ERNST VON DOHNÁNYI (1877-1960)
Dohnányi's early recordings are not yet well represented on CD. PEARL 0018 contains his Mozart Concerto K. 453, his own Variations on a Nursery Tune, and two Strauss-Dohnányi waltz transcriptions. The same waltz transcription recordings can be found on APR 5540 and VAI 1018 (both discs are compilations of Strauss transcriptions played by various pianists). An alternate transfer of the Nursery Variations can be had on EMI 55031, coupled with recordings of Bartók in his own music. A release from APR (7038, two CDs) gathers all of Dohnányi's HMV recordings of his own solo piano works, including some previously unreleased material. (Dohnanyi performances from his final decade can be found variously on EMI, Everest, Pristine, and Hungaroton CDs.)
ANIA DORFMANN (1899-1984)
Dorfmann was born in Russia but her main studies were in Paris with Isidor Philipp. PEARL 0010 contains the majority of her 78rpm recordings made for English Columbia in the 1930s. Three live Beethoven performances with Toscanini conducting can be found on Naxos. The Triple Concerto is on 8.110824, the Choral Fantasy on 8.110824, and the Concerto No.1 on 8.110826. Dorfmann's later (1945) studio recording of the Concerto No.1 with Toscanini may be found on RCA 60268. In 2017, Sony/BMG produced a 9-CD box set containing Dorfmann's complete Victor recordings, which span the late 78 and early LP eras.