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A Buyer's Guide to Historic Piano Recordings Reissued on Compact Discs

By Donald Manildi (Curator, IPAM) and Farhan Malik

Buyer's Guide E-K

E-K

ILONA EIBENSCHÜTZ (1872-1967)

Several recordings by this Clara Schumann pupil (and friend of Brahms) can be found in Pearl's "Pupils of Clara Schumann" CD set (PEARL 99049). Her earliest recordings are superlative rarities that date from 1903. The latter (three sides, with Brahms and Scarlatti) can also be found in APR 5534 ("The Piano G&Ts, Volume Four").

 

SEVERIN EISENBERGER (1879-1945)

Although this Leschetizky pupil did not make any 78rpm discs, an entire CD of broadcasts from the late 1930s is available on PEARL 9858. Eisenberger's 1938 broadcast of the Grieg Concerto was included as part of PEARL 9933 ("Grieg and his Circle"). Eisenberger is also well-represented on ARBITER 158.

 

SIR EDWARD ELGAR (1857-1934)

Of moderate interest are five piano improvisations by Elgar, included in EMI 54568 (three CDs, otherwise devoted to Elgar conducting his own orchestral works).


FRANCE ELLEGAARD (1912-1999)

Born in France of Danish parents, Ellegaard played throughout Europe for many years and recorded extensively for the Polyphon label in the 1940s. A good selection from those discs is available on two separate Danacord sets (each two CDs) devoted to Danish women pianists: 442/3 and 481/2.

 

EDUARD ERDMANN (1896-1958)

Erdmann's earliest recordings (Polydor, c.1928) have been reissued in the 2-CD set BAYER 200 44/5. In addition, the Tahra label has devoted three double CD volumes to Erdmann broadcast performances (TAHRA 199/200, 218/9 and 386/7).

 

SAMUEL FEINBERG (1890-1962)

The Arbiter label has released a CD containing most of Feinberg's earliest recordings (ARBITER 118). These are Polydors which date back to 1929. The majority of his discs (Melodiya) are from the mono LP era.

 

EDWIN FISCHER (1886-1960)

This Swiss pianist mainly recorded Austro-Germanic masterworks. He was the first pianist to record the complete Well-Tempered Clavier of Bach, and this groundbreaking performance can be found on EMI 67214 (three CDs), or with additional Bach solo works on PEARL 0016 and 0017 (two CDs each). Naxos has also released the Well-Tempered Clavier (8.110651/2 and 110653/4), but in far less impressive transfers. Three Bach Keyboard Concertos can be found on EMI 63039, while further Bach works, including a previously unpublished recording of the Concerto in E major, are available on EMI 64928.

Fischer recorded five Mozart Concertos and two Sonatas. On the APR label there are three CDs of his Mozart (APR 7303, formerly issued singly as 5523, 5524 and 5525), while Pearl has issued two volumes (PEARL 0042 and 0043). The Concertos K466 (later version from 1954) and K503 have been released on TESTAMENT 1218. The 3-CD Mozart set EMI 63719, released around 1990, should be avoided because of an error in the transfer of K503.

For Fischer's Beethoven see APR 5502, which also contains some early Handel recordings, or EMI 74800 (Emperor Concerto, "Pathetique" and "Appassionata" Sonatas). Music & Arts 880, a 2-CD set of Beethoven Sonatas, is another option, as is TESTAMENT 1169 with Concertos 3 and 4 from 1954.

His recording of the eight Schubert Impromptus from 1938 and Wanderer Fantasy of 1934 have been gathered together on both APR 5515 and PEARL 9216. TESTAMENT 1145 couples the Impromptus with the Moments musicaux (1950). Some Brahms recordings can also be found on Testament. There is his collaboration with the violinist Giaconda de Vito in Violin Sonatas 1 and 3 (TESTAMENT 1024), and the Concerto No.2 (conducted by Furtwängler) on TESTAMENT 1170.

Other important releases include a 6-CD set (M&A 1080) of broadcasts and otherwise unreleased Fischer performances. Among the items found in this set are numerous works new to his recorded legacy. Other Music & Arts releases are a CD of Brahms Trios (M&A 739), and a CD of trios by various composers (M&A 840). Finally, there are two volumes devoted to Edwin Fischer in the Philips "Great Pianists of the 20th Century" edition, duplicating material available elsewhere, and a 12-CD representative sampling of his recorded repertoire on EMI “Icon” box 949927.

 

ANDOR FOLDES (1913-1992)

Foldes (or Földes in proper Hungarian spelling), who studied with Dohnányi, is familiar to many collectors through his numerous LP records for Deutsche Grammophon and for Electrola. He also made many discs during the final years of the 78rpm era. Those issued by the Danish firm Tono have been gathered on a single CD from APR (5580).

 

MARIE-THERESE FOURNEAU (1900-1973)

Fourneau studied with Marguerite Long and Jean Doyen. She made a small number of 78rpm recordings for French Columbia, focusing on Chopin, Debussy, Ravel and Fauré. All of these discs have been recently transferred to CD by Sakuraphon (78003).

 

ETELKA FREUND (1879-1977)

Freund was one of the few acquaintances of Brahms to be represented on discs. PEARL 9193 contains numerous recordings by her, among them the Brahms F Minor Sonata. A few additional works can be found on PEARL 9014 ("Busoni and his Circle, Volume 1"). A New York radio studio performance by Freund of Beethoven's "Appassionata" Sonata can now be heard on MARSTON 52075.

 

CARL FRIEDBERG (1872-1955)

A 2-CD set of nearly all the surviving recordings by this renowned pedagogue (who worked with both Brahms and Clara Schumann) is available on MARSTON 52015. Some additional Friedberg material, much of it fragmentary, may be found on Arbiter 163.

 

ARTHUR FRIEDHEIM (1859-1932)

This Liszt pupil made very few recordings. All of them date from 1912 to 1917 and are available on PEARL 9933. This CD also contains recordings by Alexander Siloti and Emil Sauer.

 

IGNAZ FRIEDMAN (1882-1948)

Friedman was one of the many great pianists to come out of the Leschetizky studio. A complete edition of his recordings is available on five separate NAXOS CDs (8.110684, 8.110686, 8.110690, 8.110736, and 8.111114) in transfers by Ward Marston. This set supersedes Marston's earlier, nearly-complete Friedman package on PEARL IF-2000 (four CDs). Both of these were preceded in 1982 by a six-LP set on the Danacord label containing all Friedman records known at the time. Now, in 2020, Danacord has refurbished that pioneering set as a specially-priced six-CD box (DACOCD 861-864). There is a single-disc sampler of Friedman 78s on APR 5508, and the Philips "Great Pianists" series included one volume devoted to Friedman. A representative sampling of Friedman's recordings can also be found on ARBITER 158.  A major recent discovery is a crude off-the-air capture of a 1933 Tokyo radio broadcast by Friedman with works of Chopin and Mendelssohn. It may now be heard as part of "Landmarks of Recorded Pianism, Vol.2" - Marston 52075.

 

OSSIP GABRILOWITSCH (1878-1936)

Gabrilowitsch was another respected Leschetizky pupil, but he made relatively few discs. All of his piano recordings can be found on VAI 1018 except for his second version of the Schumann Quintet (with the Flonzaley Quartet), which was issued on BIDDULPH LAB 72/3.

 

MARIUS-FRANCOIS GAILLARD (1900-1973)

This French pianist, composer and conductor was personally acquainted with Debussy and became one of the earliest advocates for his music. From 1928 to 1930, Gaillard recorded an extensive series of discs for French Odéon, encompassing a total of 27 Debussy piano pieces. All of these are available on Arbiter 166 (two CDs, along with other historic Debussy material). However, listeners who favor smoother, quieter transfer work will probably prefer APR 6025 (a two-CD November 2018 release), which offers the complete Gaillard Odéons along with Debussy, Ravel and Fauré discs by Carmen Guilbert.

 

RUDOLF GANZ (1877-1972)

The majority of this Busoni pupil's recordings have not been released on CD. (These consist largely of acoustical discs for Pathe, circa 1920, plus a few electrical sides for Victor and for American Decca.) A few Grieg performances are included in the set SIMAX 1809 ("Grieg Piano Music in Historic Interpretations"), while on DANTE HPC 50 (no longer available) Ganz plays several works by MacDowell.

 

GEORGE GERSHWIN (1898-1937)

This popular composer recorded many of his own pieces and arrangements on 78rpm discs. PEARL 9483 and PEARL 0022 both capture the composer at the piano playing his own works. Smoother-sounding transfers of some of Gershwin's solo discs may be obtained on SONY MH2K 60648 and on Naxos Nostalgia 120510.

 

WALTER GIESEKING (1895-1956)

Gieseking's recordings span several decades. His earliest and rarest recordings were made for the Homocord label between 1923 and 1927. A complete edition of these is finally available on APR 6013. This 2-CD set also includes several rare Gieseking test pressings and two of his own compositions. Pearl has issued a three-volume retrospective that offers a good overview of his earlier and later 78rpm recordings (PEARL 9930, 9011 and 9038). APR has also issued three Gieseking volumes focusing mainly on concertos (Mozart, Beethoven, Schumann, Liszt, Grieg) recorded in the 1930s (APR 5511, 5512 and 5513. These three discs are also available together in APR 7308). The same concerto recordings, albeit in different couplings, are available on NAXOS 8.111110, 8.111111, and 8.111112 in transfers by Ward Marston. Naxos is continuing its Gieseking series with CDs of many of his solo 78s. Gieseking's pre-WWII Bach recordings can be found on NAXOS 8.111353. His early Beethoven Sonata recordings from the same decade are available on NAXOS 8.112063, while VAI has released a 2-CD set of his 1930s Debussy performances (VAI 1117). A few of these early Debussy recordings can be found on PEARL 9949, coupled with works by Ravel.

Arbiter has issued two Gieseking CDs: an all-Brahms release (ARBITER 103) with the F minor Sonata and the first two movements of the 2nd Concerto, and ARBITER 122, containing a variety of recordings, some released for the first time.

Music & Arts has issued several CDs taken from Gieseking's radio broadcasts. There is M&A 1008 (Mozart), M&A 1013 (Schumann), M&A 1070 (a 4-CD set with many previously unpublished broadcasts), M&A 1074 (unissued broadcasts from Radio Frankfurt), M&A 1095 (Rachmaninoff Concerto No.3 plus works by Franck and Debussy), M&A 1098 (previously unissued RIAS broadcasts), M&A 4250 (Rachmaninoff Concertos Nos.2 & 3 with Mengelberg), M&A 4743 (a 4-CD set with a wide range of composers and works), and M&A 4925 (wartime broadcast recordings).

In 1950, Gieseking recorded Bach's complete Well-Tempered Clavier, Partitas, Inventions and several other works in the studios of Radio Saarbrucken. These have now been gathered in a 7-CD box from Deutsche Grammophon (4797362). The previous year, Gieseking taped all the Beethoven sonatas in Saarbrucken. Most but not quite all (Nos.4, 5, 7, 20 and 22 are missing) have survived and were issued on the Tahra label (TAH 394/400, a 7-CD set). Various additional items of broadcast origin are in TAHRA 409/12.

Other releases include an extensive series of more than 25 CDs issued by Japanese EMI (difficult to obtain, however) containing recordings from all periods of Gieseking's recording career, and two volumes in the Philips "Great Pianists" series.

 

EMIL GILELS (1916-1985)

There are a number of Soviet 78s that document the early phase of Gilels's career. A few of these discs go as far back as 1935. The Naxos Historical series has released three CDs of Gilels’ early Russian recordings as transferred by Ward Marston (8.111350, 8.112051, 8.111386). Many items appear on CD for the first time. Earlier reissues of some early Gilels items were on OLYMPIA 166, DANTE HPC-098, and DG 4776370. All three also contain later Gilels recordings.

 

GRIGORY GINZBURG (1904-1961)

Ginzburg was one of the great pianists of the Soviet era and a pupil of Goldenweiser. Most of Ginzburg's recordings appeared on Melodiya LPs. However, some of his earliest Russian 78s have been reissued on CDs from APR. The first of two Ginzburg volumes (APR 5667) focuses on Liszt and Balakirev. Unfortunately the dull-sounding transfers are badly marred by digital artifacts, heavy-handed noise reduction, and inaccurate pitching in the Liszt Tarantella.

 

LEOPOLD GODOWSKY (1870-1938)

Godowsky was one of the most innovative pianists of the 19th century and his recordings date from 1913 to 1930. A complete edition of Godowsky's 78s, arranged chronologically, is available on the Marston label. MARSTON 52046 (two CDs) offers the Columbia and Brunswick acoustical discs up to 1922. Volume two, MARSTON 52051 (two CDs) contains the remaining acoustical Brunswicks, including many unpublished test pressings. The final volume, MARSTON 53008 (three CDs) features Brunswick and English Columbia electrical discs, one private recording, several alternative takes, and examples of Godowsky's works played on contemporaneous 78s by Backhaus, Cherkassky, Gilels, Pouishnoff, Saperton, Schiøler, and Yalkowsky.

The Marston edition supersedes earlier Godowsky CD reissues, such as those on APR and the Philips "Great Pianists" series.

 

EDWARD GOLL (c.1870-1949)

Most of Goll's few 78s are Brunswicks from the late 1920s; these include Beethoven's Sonata Op.110. A pupil of Emil Sauer, Goll emigrated to Australia, where he taught at the Conservatorium of Music in Melbourne. Goll's pupils included the composers Margaret Sutherland and Linda Phillips, and the pianist Waldemar Seidel. In IPAM 1206 ("A Multitude of Pianists"), Goll plays two pieces by Reger.

 

PERCY GRAINGER (1882-1961)

Although better known as a composer, Grainger was a formidable pianist and made numerous recordings from as early as 1908. In 2011, APR issued a 5-CD set (7501) of Grainger's complete solo recordings in transfers by Ward Marston. It supersedes previous reissues. Among the latter: Biddulph and Pearl have both devoted CDs to Grainger. BIDDULPH LHW 10 contains three Bach transcriptions and the Chopin Sonatas Nos.2 and 3. BIDDULPH LHW 8 contains the Schumann Symphonic Etudes and G minor Sonata, the Brahms F minor Sonata, and smaller pieces. PEARL 9013 also offers both Chopin Sonatas plus the Symphonic Etudes, while PEARL 9957 contains the three Bach Transcriptions, Schumann's G minor Sonata, and various other works. Most of his solo Grieg recordings can be found in SIMAX 1809 ("Historical Performances of Grieg") and on PEARL 9933 ("Grieg and his Circle"). Music & Arts has issued one Grainger CD (M&A 1002) that features a live Grieg Concerto conducted by Stokowski in 1945.

 

ENRIQUE GRANADOS (1867-1916)

This well-known Spanish composer-pianist recorded four 78rpm sides for Spanish Odeon in 1912. Among the rarest of all early piano recordings, they have been reissued on VAI 1001 ("The Catalan Piano Tradition").

 

EDVARD GRIEG (1843-1907)

In 1903 Grieg recorded nine discs of his own works for the Paris branch of the Gramophone and Typewriter Company. All of these have been reissued on SIMAX 1809 in barely acceptable transfers. PEARL 9933 ("Grieg and his Circle") contains two of them. In a major development, new transfers of all the Grieg recordings are now available on MARSTON 52054 (two CDs, with the complete Saint-Saëns, Debussy, and Pugno). These transfers have removed most of the distracting flutter that plagued all earlier incarnations of these discs.

 

ALFRED GRÜNFELD (1852-1924)

In 1899 Grünfeld became the first pianist to record on 78rpm discs, and he recorded prolifically until 1912. PEARL 9850 contains an excellent survey of Grünfeld recordings spanning his entire recording career. APR 5532 (Piano G&Ts, volume two) focuses on Grünfeld's 1905 recordings. Two of Grünfeld's Strauss Waltz transcriptions, not included elsewhere, may be heard on APR 5540. Many further Grünfeld discs await transfer to CD.

 

FRIEDRICH GULDA (1930-2000)

This iconoclastic Austrian virtuoso made his first discs for British Decca while still in his teens. These late 78s (recorded 1947-49) have now been transferred to DECCA 476 3045. The repertoire consists of Bach, Beethoven, Chopin, Debussy, Mozart, and Prokofiev.

 

MARK HAMBOURG (1879-1960)

Hambourg, a Leschetizky pupil, was one of the most recorded pianists of the 78rpm era and was the first pianist to record Liszt's "standard fifteen" Hungarian Rhapsodies. Only a small portion of his recordings (all for HMV) is available on CD. PEARL 9147 contains various selections by Beethoven, Chopin, Liszt, Falla, and others. On ARBITER 109 are his performances of the Beethoven Sonata Op.26, Chopin's Andante Spianato, and the Debussy-Borwick Prelude to the Afternoon of a Faun. Several additional Hambourg recordings may be found in IPAM 1206 ("A Multitude of Pianists") and in PEARL OPAL 9839 (Pupils of Leschetizky). APR has issued a two-CD set of all of Hambourg's Liszt Hungarian Rhapsody recordings (APR 7040). As a sample, his Hungarian Rhapsody No.7 is currently available on VAI 1066 (two CDs, with other Rhapsody recordings by various players). The Pristine label offers a CD with transfers of Hambourg's two concerto recordings (Tchaikovsky No.1 and Beethoven No.3). More recently, a single APR release (6023) provides a generous selection of miscellaneous repertoire recorded by Hambourg both acoustically and electrically. Finally, a hitherto-unknown live 1955 Hambourg performance of the Tchaikovsky concerto has become available on Marston 52074 ("Landmarks of Recorded Pianism, Vol.2").

 

CLARA HASKIL (1895-1960)

Although Haskil's best-known recordings date from the LP era, she officially began her recording career in 1934. Most of her earlier recordings were reissued on DANTE HPC 154. Additional early Haskil can be found on TAHRA 366/7, which includes some homemade discs and test pressings from as early as 1928-29.

 

DAME MYRA HESS (1890-1965)

A complete 5-CD edition of Hess’s commercial solo and concerto recordings is now available from APR: 7504. Biddulph released her complete recordings for American Columbia on LHW 24. BIDDULPH LHW 25 contains her HMV recordings from 1938-42. PEARL has three CDs devoted to Hess: PEARL 9114 offers a sample of recordings from 1928-1950, PEARL 9462 focuses on her earliest recordings, and PEARL 9463 has her Schumann Concerto and Carnaval along with two works by Griffes and MacDowell. On NAXOS 8.110804 there is a Beethoven 3rd Concerto with Toscanini from 1946, while Music and Arts has issued a 4-CD set of live performances (mostly concertos: M&A 779). The APR label has issued three CDs of live 1949 performances from the University of Illinois (APR 7306, previously issued singly as 5520, 5539 & 5549). APR also has a 2-CD set (APR 7012) that presents Hess in concerto, chamber, and solo repertoire, and a single CD (5646) with broadcast performances of the Brahms Op.34 Quintet and Schumann's Carnaval. Further Hess broadcasts of solos and concertos have been issued by BBC Legends. However, beware of BBCL 4178, where incompetent transfer work has put Hess's entire 1958 Schumann Concerto into B-Flat Minor instead of A Minor, and also BBCL 4111 where similar ineptitude has transposed Mozart's Concerto in A (K.488) into B-Flat. The remastering on both discs is credited to Paul Baily.

 

JOSEF HOFMANN (1876-1957)

Hofmann's complete recordings have been issued on CD in nine volumes. The first four are on the VAI label: Volume 1 (VAI 1002) contains both Chopin Concertos from live 1930s broadcasts; Volume 2 (VAI 1020, two discs) contains his Golden Jubilee concert of 1937; Volume 3 (VAI 1036, two discs) gathers his complete recordings for American Columbia (1912-1918) and the five G&T recordings from 1903. Volume 4 (VAI 1047) is devoted to Hofmann's Brunswick recordings of 1922-23.

The remaining volumes, all two-disc sets, are available on the Marston label. Volume 5 (MARSTON 52004) contains HMV and Victor test recordings from 1935 as well as broadcast material from various years. Volume 6 (MARSTON 52014) contains the legendary Casimir Hall recital of 1938 plus further off-the-air recordings. Volume 7 (MARSTON 52037) couples his Beethoven 4th Concerto with Dimitri Mitropoulos conducting (1943) and a Beethoven 5th Concerto with Hans Lange (December 5, not May 12, 1940), as well as several concerto movements from 1940s Bell Telephone Hour broadcasts. The eighth volume (MARSTON 52044) includes concertos by Anton Rubinstein plus the remaining Hofmann solo off-the-air material. Three early cylinder recordings by Hofmann, dating from 1896, may be found in MARSTON 53011 (see Anthologies.) The latter are also in the ninth and final Marston volume (52058), which contains among other items a series of interviews with people who knew and heard Hofmann.

A single CD selection of Hofmann's 78s in transfers by Mark Obert-Thorn is available on NAXOS 8.111326. The Philips volume devoted to Hofmann in the "Great Pianists" series should be avoided. Its contents were lifted wholesale from the Marston transfers on VAI with a distinct degradation in quality, and the Philips documentation is partially inaccurate.

 

VLADIMIR HOROWITZ (1903-1989)

Horowitz's first records were made for RCA Victor in 1928 and 1930, after which he recorded for HMV between 1930 and 1936. Some of Horowitz's most famous recordings date from this period, including the Liszt Sonata and the first-ever recording of the Rachmaninoff 3rd Concerto. Two recent NAXOS CDs cover much of this material with the addition of three previously unissued Victor sides from 1930 (Naxos 8.110696 and 8.110606). Pearl 9262 conveniently groups all the solo works from these sessions in a 2-CD set but with mediocre transfers. APR 5516 and 5517 contain better transfers of all the solo HMV recordings plus an unpublished 1936 recording of the Chopin Sonata Op.35 first movement, not available elsewhere. RCA has reissued only their own Horowitz recordings from this period, and these are inconveniently spread across three different CDs (RCA 60526, 60463 and 60986). There is also a 3-CD set from EMI (63538), which contains all the EMI material plus a few pieces Horowitz recorded for them in 1951. EMI's transfer work here, however, is of submarginal quality.

Horowitz's remaining commercial 78s were made for RCA Victor from 1940 to 1950. All are scattered throughout the various single CDs of Horowitz on that label, in tandem with later Horowitz material. Of particular importance are two RCA CDs (62643 and 62644) drawn from Horowitz's personal lacquer transcription discs of his Carnegie Hall recitals from 1945 to 1950. The chosen performances and repertoire are unique to these CDs. It is to be hoped that this entire series of recitals (now housed at Yale University) can be officially released at a future time. Meanwhile, BMG/Sony has brought forth three separate CDs of material excerpted from the private Carnegie Hall series: 754605 (Haydn and Beethoven sonatas), 749925 (Mussorgsky and Liszt), and 754604 (Chopin, Schumann, Liszt, and Balakirev). In late 2013, Sony produced a mammoth 42-CD box (548417) of live Horowitz performances from Carnegie Hall, spanning over 30 years of concerts. The aforementioned CDs are all included, along with additional material both new and reissued.

A number of early live Horowitz performances are available. In 1932 Bell Laboratories began some experimental recordings at the Philadelphia Academy of Music. An incomplete performance of the Tchaikovsky Concerto No.1 with Fritz Reiner and the Philadelphia Orchestra has survived and can now be heard on MARSTON 52073 ("Landmarks of Recorded Pianism"). On DANACORD 303 are two Horowitz items from Copenhagen (Debussy's Serenade for the Doll, dated 1934, and a Tchaikovsky Concerto fragment from 1935). A nearly complete 1935 recording of the Brahms 1st Concerto with Toscanini conducting has been issued on APR 6001. The latter also includes live performances of the Brahms 2nd Concerto from 1939 and 1948. Another Brahms 2nd Concerto with Toscanini (from 1940) appears on NAXOS 8.110805/6.

 

MIECZYSLAW HORSZOWSKI (1892-1993)

The earliest solo recordings of Horszowski, who studied with Leschetizky as a child, are among the items in PEARL 9108 ("The 1940 Vatican Recordings"; two CDs). These have now reappeared on ARBITER 165. Horszowski's mid-to-late 1930s collaborations with Casals in Beethoven Cello Sonatas are available on PEARL 9461. He and Casals also recorded the Brahms Sonata Op.99, which is on PEARL 9363. Horszowski did not begin recording extensively until the LP and CD eras.

 

EVLYN HOWARD-JONES (1882-1964)

Some Bach Prelude and Fugue recordings (Book 1, nos. 9-16) from 1929-30 by this little-known but extremely talented British pianist, who had some lessons with Eugen d'Albert, were released on BIDDULPH LHW 23.

 

EDWARD ISAACS (1881-1953)

This blind British pianist recorded a varied array of solo works for the Regal label, but only one example of his playing has made it to CD: the Chopin-Liszt "My Joys" on IPAM 1206 ("A Multitude of Pianists").

 

JOSÉ ITURBI (1895-1980)

An important APR set (7307, three CDs) released in 2016 contains fresh transfers by Mark Obert-Thorn of Iturbi's complete solo recordings for Victor and HMV. These date from 1933 to 1952 and include repertoire ranging from Bach to Morton Gould. PEARL 9103 offers Mozart's Concerto for Two Pianos in which Iturbi is joined by his sister Amparo. IVORY CLASSICS 70908 also contains the Mozart Double as well as the Concerto K466 and the Sonata K332. Unfortunately, these dull-sounding transfers suffer from heavy-handed digital processing.

 

NATALIA JANOTHA (1856-1932)

This eccentric Polish pianist recorded four sides for Gramophone and Typewriter in 1904. These have been reissued on APR 5532 (Piano G&Ts volume 2).

 

MARYLA JONAS (1911-1959)

Jonas, a native of Poland, studied with several great figures including Emil Sauer, and her playing was admired by Artur Rubinstein. A representative sampling of her post-WW2 American Columbia recordings (mostly works of Chopin) can be found on PEARL 0077 in generally mediocre transfers. This release has now been superseded by a SONY 4-CD box containing her complete recorded legacy (88985391782).

 

EILEEN JOYCE (1912-1991)

This brilliant Australian pianist made a large number of 78rpm recordings dating back to 1933. Her complete recorded legacy is now available on Decca Eloquence 482 6291. This is a 10-CD set encompassing her Parlophone, English Columbia, and Decca recordings. Among these is a previously-unreleased Tchaikovsky Concerto No.2. In late 2011, APR issued a 5-CD set (7502) of all of Joyce's solo discs for Parlophone and English Columbia. Among earlier reissues, TESTAMENT 1174, PEARL 9022, and the Japanese release YAMANO 1069 all contain various solo selections from her output. In addition, DUTTON CDEA 5505 features Joyce in piano-and-orchestra works of Mendelssohn, Franck, Rachmaninoff and Turina. Her recording of the John Ireland Concerto is on DUTTON CDAX 8001, and her Shostakovich Concerto No.1 is on DUTTON CDAX 8010. Finally, the Arensky D Minor Trio with Joyce, Temianka and Sala may be found on BIDDULPH LAB 059/60.

 

WILLIAM KAPELL (1922-1953)

The career of this legendary American pianist, a pupil of Olga Samaroff, was cut short by a plane crash in 1953. He began making records for RCA Victor in 1944. BMG has produced a commemorative 9-CD set (BMG 68442) containing all of his commercial recordings plus many previously unreleased items. Eight of the CDs are also available individually.

After a long wait, some of Kapell's final Australian performances from 1953 are now available on Sony/BMG 68560 (two CDs). The repertoire includes a superb Rachmaninoff Third Concerto and solo items by Bach, Debussy, Chopin, Mussorgsky and Prokofiev. All come from previously unknown home-made airchecks on lacquer transcription discs that were plagued with a number of problems. Unfortunately the transfer work, while adequate, could and should have eliminated much of the hum, radio cross-talk, and assorted other noises that interfere with Kapell's playing.

More recently, RCA has combined the contents of the 9-CD “Kapell Edition” with the two live Australian CDs in a lower-priced, space-saving box (5431362). Unfortunately, those in charge were either too cheap or too lazy to include any annotation or documentation concerning Kapell or his recorded legacy.

A long-awaited late 2016 release on the MARSTON label (53021, three CDs) offers a wide variety of live and broadcast performances by Kapell, dating from 1944 to 1952. Many of these appear for the first time, including a 1948 Strauss Burleske with Reiner and the Pittsburgh Symphony (Kapell's only performance of that work).

The small JSP label recently (2017) issued a CD (JSP 684) of three live Kapell performances: two of the Prokofiev Concerto No.3 with the Philadelphia Orchestra and Boston Symphony, respectively, and a new transfer of his 1945 Rachmaninoff Paganini Rhapsody.

Further Kapell recordings, mostly drawn from live broadcasts, can be found on smaller labels. ARBITER 108 has his earliest surviving performance, the last two movements of the Beethoven 3rd Concerto from 1937, and a 1945 Shostakovich Concerto No.1. PEARL 9194 includes the Rachmaninoff Paganini Rhapsody with Rodzinski from 1945 and some Schubert Lieder with the young soprano Maria Stader. VAI has two CDs of Kapell material: CD 1027 with a Rachmaninoff 3rd Concerto from 1948 and the Khachaturian Concerto from 1945, and CD 1048 with solo works of Bach, Mozart, Liszt, Debussy, and Mussorgsky. Music & Arts has several Kapell CDs: M&A 1109 (the Rachmaninoff 2nd and Khachaturian Concertos from 1951 and 1944, respectively), M&A 4771 (Falla Nights in the Gardens of Spain from 1949), and M&A 4990 (Brahms Concerto No.1 with Mitropoulos in 1953 and Prokofiev Concerto No.3 with Stokowski in 1949). A 1945 Kapell performance of the Brahms No.1, conducted by Ormandy, has been included in a large Philadelphia Orchestra anniversary set.

 

WILHELM KEMPFF (1895-1991)

The defunct DANTE label issued 10 volumes of early Kempff recordings (HPC 019, 023, 036, 046, 047, 070, 071, 075, 076, 077). The first nine of these were entirely devoted to Beethoven, while the final volume featured Mozart, Bach, and Bach/Kempff transcriptions along with Kempff's acoustically-recorded Beethoven 1st Concerto, which is the first recording of that work. (Contrary to some sources, Kempff did not record all 32 Beethoven sonatas on 78s.) DG 447 976 offers 1941-42 Kempff recordings of Beethoven's 3rd Concerto and Mozart's D Minor. Other sources for early Kempff performances are MUSIC & ARTS 1071, which contains rare broadcast material dating from 1936-45, and KOCH 1029, with broadcasts of Bach, Chopin, Liszt, Fauré, Mozart, and Kempff, partially overlapping the M&A release.

Two 2016 releases from APR offer early (1920-42) Kempff recordings of Beethoven. APR 6018 (2 CDs) contains the last seven sonatas, plus Op.78, from Kempff's Polydor 78s. APR 6019 (2 CDs) features his earliest accounts of Concerti 1, 3, 4, and 5 and few shorter solo pieces. The excellent transfers are by Mark Obert-Thorn. More recently, APR has produced Obert-Thorn transfers of the remaining Beethoven sonatas from Kempff's WW2 Polydor series (APR 7403, three discs).

 

LOUIS KENTNER (1905-1987)

The Hungarian-born Kentner made many records during the 78rpm era, of which a representative selection is available on CD. Current choices include PEARL 9480 (Beethoven Hammerklavier, Chopin, and Liszt), PEARL 0148 (Bartók and Liszt), PEARL 0154 (Liapunov Etudes), APR 5514 ("Pioneering Liszt Recordings"), and APR 5620 (Liapunov Etudes). Kentner's Mozart Concerto K414 with Beecham conducting has been reissued on EMI "References" 63820,  DUTTON CDLX 7019, and also PEARL 9081. A NAXOS disc (8.111223) offers the Balakirev Sonata and several Liszt pieces in typically dull, drab transfers by the team of Marina and Victor Ledin. Mention should also be made of APR 5614 (a second volume of "The Pioneering Liszt Recordings"). This is a largely redundant disc that duplicates almost all the contents of PEARL 0148, but in significantly less vivid transfers. Instead, APR could and should have included Kentner's only recording of the Liszt Sonata in B Minor (originally on English Columbia 78s from 1951, never reissued). Unfortunately producer Bryan Crimp unilaterally decided the performance was not up to Kentner's usual standard, despite the pianist's approval of it as well as praise from several quarters. Fortunately, in 2016 APR (now under the leadership of Mike Spring) made amends by issuing the Liszt Sonata as well as all of Kentner's Balakirev 78s and new transfers of the Liapunov Etudes (APR 6012, two CDs).

 

EDWARD KILENYI (1911-2000)

Kilenyi, born in Philadelphia, was a protégé of Dohnányi and became a respected pedagogue as well as concert pianist. His Chopin and Liszt recordings from 1937-38, made in Paris for Pathé, including the Etudes Op. 10 and Funeral March Sonata, are available on APR 7037, a two-disc set. PEARL 0126 gathers some of Kilenyi's American Columbia Recordings from 1939-48, including Dohnányi and Kilenyi in the former's "Suite en valse" for two pianos.

 

ANATOLE KITAIN (1903-1980)

A classmate of Horowitz in Kiev, Kitain studied with both Tarnowsky and Blumenfeld. Although he never achieved the fame of his fellow student, his playing was widely respected. Kitain's complete English Columbia recordings (1936-39) have been reissued on APR 7029 (two CDs).

 

RAOUL KOCZALSKI (1884-1948)

In his time, Koczalski (who worked with Chopin's pupil Mikuli) was considered by many to be one of the world's great Chopin interpreters, with a direct "connection" to the composer. The Marston label has undertaken a complete edition of Koczalski's pre-war 78s, arranged chronologically. The first volume (2 CDs) is available on MARSTON 52063. The long-delayed second volume (including the complete Chopin Etudes, Ballades, and Preludes) is MARSTON 53016 (3 CDs).

The Polish Selene label (now apparently inactive) has devoted eight CDs to his recordings, seven of which have been released to date (SELENE 9801.37, 9802.38, 9804.40, 9807.43, 9901.46, 9902.47, 9903.48). Volume 1 contains his complete recordings for the Mewa label in 1948, shortly before his death. The Chopin Etudes Op.10 (1938-39) are in volume 2. The Op.25 Etudes appear in volume 3. All four Ballades can be found on volume 4, and the 24 Preludes are reissued on volume 5. Miscellaneous Chopin works comprise volume 6 along with a Schubert/Liszt song transcription. Volume 7 contains Beethoven's Moonlight Sonata and works by Chopin, Paderewski, and Koczalski himself. The Selene transfers are adequate, but their documentation of the source material is minimal or nonexistent.

A few other labels have reissued Koczalski recordings. One of them is the double CD set ARCHIPHON 119/20, which along with the Chopin Preludes contains many previously unpublished performances from radio archives. Other releases include PEARL 9472, a CD of all Chopin; BIDDULPH LHW 22 with Koczalski's complete Chopin Etudes; and DANTE HPC 42 (deleted), which combines the four Ballades with other Chopin selections. A recent Music + Arts release (1261, two CDs) offers still more Koczalski broadcast material.

 

LUBKA KOLESSA (1902-1997)

Kolessa studied with Sauer and made a small number of recordings before settling down to teach in Canada. Her complete recordings have been reissued on DOREMI 7743 (three CDs) in a widely criticized edition plagued with heavily filtered transfers, inadequate documentation, and other problems. Meanwhile, a recently-discovered, nearly-complete 1936 broadcast by Kolessa of Mozart's D Minor Concerto, K.466, can now be heard on Pristine PASC 547

 

LILI KRAUS (1903-1986)

Kraus studied with a number of important people including Béla Bartók and Artur Schnabel. A mammoth 31-CD set from Erato (2564624223), released in late 2014, contains all of Kraus's 78-rpm recordings along with much rare material from the early 1950s. A sampling of Kraus's pre-WW2 Parlophones, with works of Haydn, Beethoven, Schubert, Chopin and Bartok, can be found on PEARL 0055.

 

LEONID KREUTZER (1884-1953)

Russian-born and a pupil of Annette Essipova, Kreutzer lived, performed and taught in Japan for many years. He recorded copiously for Japanese Columbia, concentrating on Beethoven and Chopin. A two-CD sampling of his output was issued in Japan on WING 107/8.

 

FRIDA KWAST-HODAPP (1880-1949)

A German pianist who premiered works by Reger and Busoni, Kwast-Hodapp made only one recording, then retired from concertizing. Her 1933 Electrola disc of Bach and Scarlatti is included in IPAM 1206 ("A Multitude of Pianists").