A catalogue of 78rpm Piano Recordings of Classical Pianists


Welcome to APR - or Appian Publications & Recordings Ltd. to quote our full title, though we are invariably more familiarly known simply as "APR".

Within the relatively short time since APR was founded in 1986 it has won an enviable reputation as a quality label devoted predominantly - though not exclusively - to historic piano recordings. In particular APR has won countless laurels for the high standard of its 78rpm restoration work - "Transfers of genius" to quote one critic - as well as the detail and content of its booklets - "Presentation is, as always with APR, immaculate" - to cite another accolade. These features have been recognised by the award of numerous international honours, not least an unprecedented 9 Grand Prix by the Liszt Society of Budapest in recent years.

In September 2004, following the retirement of its founder, Bryan Crimp, APR changed hands, though the aspirations of the label remain unchanged. APR is now based in London, England and is owned and run by Michael Spring who previously spent many years at Hyperion Records.


New Releases

WILHELM BACKHAUS Complete acoustic and selected early electric recordings



COMPACT DISC 1 (75’26) acoustic recordings 1908–1913 (London)
1. RACHMANINOV Prelude in C sharp minor Op 3/2
2. LISZT Liebesträume No 3 S541/3
3. GRIEG Norwegian Bridal Procession Op 19/2
4. PAGANINI/LISZT La campanella S141/3
5. CHOPIN Prélude in C major Op 28/1
6. Étude in C major Op 10/1
7. HANDEL Variations 'The Harmonious Blacksmith'
8. WEBER ‘Perpetuum mobile’ from Op 24
9. CHOPIN Fantasy Impromptu Op 66
10. BACH Prelude & Fugue No 3 in C sharp major WTC1
12. CHOPIN Étude in G sharp minor Op 25/6
13. Étude in A flat major Op 25/1
14. Étude in D flat major Op 25/8
15. Étude in G flat major Op 25/9
16. Étude in G flat major Op 10/5
17. SEELING Concert Étude in E flat minor Op 10/12
18. GRIEG Piano Concerto in A minor Op 16 (heavily abridged)
20. SCHUMANN Novellette in E major Op 21/7
21. CHOPIN Waltz in A flat major Op 42
22. Waltz in G flat major Op 70/1
23. Waltz in E minor Op posth.
24. SMETANA Polka in F major
25. SCARLATTI Sonata in F major K 525
26. Sonata in G major K 523
27. LISZT Hungarian Rhapsody No 2

COMPACT DISC 2 (71’23) Acoustic recordings 1913 (London), 1916 (Berlin) & 1923 (London)
1. SCHUBERT Moment musical in F minor D780/3
2. SCHUBERT/LISZT ‘Hark, Hark the Lark’ S558/9
3. CHOPIN Étude in C major Op 10/7
4. Waltz in D flat major Op 64/1
5. Waltz in D flat major Op 64/1 (alternate recording)
6. Étude in A minor Op 10/2
7. Étude in F major Op 25/3
8. Étude in F minor Op 25/2
9. RUBINSTEIN Polka in G major Op 82/7
10. RUBINSTEIN Romance in E flat major Op 44
11. LISZT Hungarian Rhapsody No 12
12. BRAHMS Variations on a theme by Paganini Op 35 (abridged)
13. CHOPIN Étude in A minor Op 25/11
14. CHOPIN Polonaise in A major Op 40/1
15. MOZART/BACKHAUS Sérénade de Don Juan
16. SCHUMANN/LISZT Widmung S566
18. LISZT Liebesträume No 3 S541/3
19. CHOPIN Polonaise in A flat Op 53 (abridged)
20. CHOPIN Waltz in A flat major Op 42
21. SMETANA Polka in F major
22. MOSZKOWSKI Caprice espagnole Op 37

COMPACT DISC 3 (76’24) Acoustic recording 1924 (Track 1) & Electrical recordings 1925–1936 (London)
1. BRAHMS Variations on a theme by Paganini Op 35
2. CHOPIN Prélude in C major Op 28/1
3. Étude in C major Op 10/1
4. Étude in A minor Op 10/2
5. Étude in C minor Op 10/12
6. Étude in F major Op 25/3
7. Étude in C major Op 10/7
8. Étude in C major Op 10/1
9. Berceuse in D flat major Op 57
10. SCHUBERT Moment musical in F minor D780/3
11. Moment musical D780/3 in F minor (alternate recording)
12. Impromptu in B flat major D935/3
13. Menuetto from Sonata in G major D894
14. Moment musical in A flat major D780/6
15. GRIEG Piano Concerto in A minor Op 16

As one of the great pianists of the 20th century, WILHELM BACKHAUS (1884–1969) needs no introduction. He recorded almost continuously from 1908 until his death, but this set, focusing on his earliest recordings, completes APR’s coverage (see also APR 6026, APR 6027 and APR 5637) of all his solo and concerto output for The Gramophone Company/HMV, except the electrically recorded Brahms titles, which are available elsewhere. These early discs reveal Backhaus as an exciting young virtuoso, rather than the sober purveyor of German classics he was to become.


Available on Compact Disc, as a Digital Download and to Stream

SHURA CHERKASSKY The complete 78rpm recordings 1923 -1950



COMPACT DISC 1 (63’05) Victor recordings, Camden, New Jersey 1923–1928
1. BEETHOVEN Ecossaises WoO 83 (acoustic version)
2. MENDELSSOHN Prelude Op 35/1 (acoustic)
3. MENDELSSOHN Scherzo Op 16/2 (acoustic)
4. SHURA CHERKASSKY Prelude Pathetique (acoustic)
5. MENDELSSOHN Song Without Words ‘Hunting Song’ Op 19b/3
6. CHOPIN Waltz in E minor Op posth
8. MANNA-ZUCCA Prelude Op 73
9. BEETHOVEN Ecossaises WoO 83 (electric version)
10. MENDELSSOHN Prelude Op 35/1 (electric)
11. MENDELSSOHN Scherzo Op 16/2 (electric)
12. SHURA CHERKASSKY Prelude Pathetique (electric)

US Columbia recording, New York 1934/5
13. RACHMANINOV Cello Sonata in G minor Op 19 with MARCEL HUBERT cello

COMPACT DISC 2 (66’28) US Vox recordings 1946–1947
1. GLINKA Tarantella
2. REBIKOV Waltz Op 21/1
3. TCHAIKOVSKY October Op 37b/10
4. LIADOV A Musical Snuffbox Op 32
5. SCRIABIN Prelude for the left-hand Op 9/1
6. MEDTNER Skazka (Tale) Op 34/2
7. PROKOFIEV Suggestion diabolique Op 4/4
9. SHOSTAKOVICH Prelude Op 34/10; Prelude Op 34/5
11. LISZT Hungarian Rhapsodies Nos 5, 6, 11 & 15 S244

 Swedish Cupol recordings 1949
15. LISZT Gnomenreigen S145/2
16. CHOPIN Polonaise Op 53
18. POULENC Toccata
19. MORTON GOULD Prelude and Toccata
21. MORTON GOULD Boogie Woogie Etude

COMPACT DISC 3 (65’32) Concert Hall Society recording 1946
1. TCHAIKOVSKY Piano Concerto No 2 Op 44

HMV recordings, Abbey Road studio 3, London 1950 
4. CHOPIN Nocturne Op 72/1
5. CHOPIN Mazurka Op 33/2
6. CHOPIN Etude Op 10/4
7. CHOPIN Fantasy Op 49
8. SAINT-SAËNS Prélude and Fugue Op 52/3
10. LISZT Consolation No 3 S172/3
11. CHAMINADE Autrefois Op 87/4


In his later years, SHURA CHERKASSKY (1909–1995) was regarded as one of the last ‘Romantics’ – a throwback to the so-called ‘golden age’ of pianism in the first decades of the 20th century. As a pupil of Josef Hofmann, he had an impeccable pedigree, but we tend to forget his long career meant he was already playing and recording in that ‘golden age’. Here then are these early recordings, complete for the first time, starting in the acoustic era with the young prodigy’s 1923 Victor discs. Much of the repertoire is unique in his discography, including his only recording of chamber music – the Rachmaninov cello sonata. The Tchaikovsky 2nd Concerto, Cherkassky’s earliest concerto recording, has never previously been reissued and reveals the 36-year-old artist at his virtuoso peak.

GRAMOPHONE Editor's Choice, November 2023


Available on Compact Disc, as a Digital Download and to Stream

ROBERT LORTAT The complete recordings



COMPACT DISC 1 (74.08)
1. 24 Préludes Op 28 recorded on 5 May 1928
25. 14 Waltzes recorded on 4 and 12 May 1931

COMPACT DISC 2 (78.44)
1. 12 Études Op 10
13. 12 Études Op 25
25. Nouvelles études
recorded on 3, 4, 7 October and 14 November 1929 & 8 November 1930
28. Piano Sonata No 2 in B flat minor Op 35 recorded on 9 June 1928

This is the tenth release in APR’s ongoing French Piano School series which aims to present important recordings from the often-forgotten pianists who represent the very distinctive French style of playing in the first half of the 20th century.

Were it not for the chronic illness which dogged him after service in WW1 and led to his premature death, Robert Lortat (1885–1938) would undoubtedly have recorded more and been remembered as one of the greatest French pianists of the 20th century. He performed a wide repertoire, including much Fauré and Debussy, magnificently, but Chopin was central to his art. He first performed the composer’s complete works from memory in five concerts in 1912 and his only recordings, presented here complete, are of Chopin. Lortat was only the second pianist to record Chopin’s complete etudes, after the Backhaus cycle of 1928 (on APR6026), and that they preceded Cortot cycle shows the esteem with which Lortat’s playing was held in France.

When they have been presented before, Lortat’s recordings have suffered from very poor transfers from the original 78s. We hope these new transfers, by Mark Obert-Thorn, cast them in a new and much improved light.

GRAMOPHONE Editor's Choice, October 2023


Available on Compact Disc, as a Digital Download and to Stream

ELLY NEY Brahms Concerto No 2 & Schubert Wanderer Fantasy


1CD (75'51)

Polydor recordings, Berlin
1-4 BRAHMS Piano Concerto No 2 in B flat major Op 83
BERLIN PHILHARMONIC ORCHESTRA / MAX FIEDLER conductor, 1940 session: uncredited conductor
Recorded on 1, 2 & 5 June 1939 & 29 April 1940

5-8 SCHUBERT: Grosse Fantasie ‘Wanderer’ D760 (Op 15)
Recorded on 21 May 1942

9. SCHUBERT ‘Aus Schubert’s Tänzen’ Suite of Dances arranged by Elly Ney
Deutsche Tänze, D783: No 1 – Deutsche Tänze, D783: No 7 – Deutsche Tänze, D783: No 10 – Grätzer Walzer, D924: No 6 – Valses sentimentales, D779: No 13 – Deutsche Tänze, D790: No 3 – Waltzes, D365: No 29 – Ländler, D734: No 14 – Waltzes, D365: No 36 – Waltzes, D365: No 33
Recorded on 21 May 1942

German pianist ELLY NEY’s posthumous reputation has, perhaps justifiably, been tarnished by her links to the Nazi regime, but 80 years on it’s easier to focus on her pianism and acknowledge she was one of the finest pianists of her generation. A previous APR release (APR7311) presented her interpreting a wide range of composers, but she came to be regarded as one of the great interpreters of the Austro-German repertoire and here she tackles two of the masterworks, including a monumental performance of the Brahms Second Piano Concerto with the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra, the first version recorded by a woman. Brahms specialist, Max Fiedler, ostensibly conducts, though our booklet note proposes circumstantial evidence that Alois Melichar could be the uncredited conductor who completed the project after Fiedler’s sudden death and we have recently received new information that suggests this conductor could alternately have been her ex-husband Willem van Hoogstraten.


Available on Compact Disc, as a Digital Download and to Stream