Pianists of the Past

The recordings on this page are rendered to MP3 from digitized piano rolls housed in the Stanford University Piano Roll Archive. The Archive is a treasure trove of recordings from the early years of the twentieth century. The MIDI format of these piano rolls is made available to the public for personal, non-commercial use.

Please stop by often as more recordings will be added from time to time.


Here’s Ukrainian pianist Wassily Sapellnikoff playing Liszt’s Nocturne No. 1, recorded in 1910.

..Here’s Polish pianist/composer Ignacy Jan Paderewski playing Chopin’s Polonaise in A-flat Major, Op. 53, recorded in 1906.

Here’s the German composer/pianist and pupil of Franz Liszt Emil von Sauer playing Chopin’s Nocturne in D-flat Major, Op. 27, No. 2, recorded in 1907:

Here’s the eminent French composer and pianist Camille Saint-Saëns playing Chopin’s Nocturne in F-sharp Major, Op. 15, No. 2, recorded in 1905:

Here’s French pianist Berthe Marx-Goldschmidt playing her own transcription of Rhapsodie hongroise nach Sarasates Zigeunerweisen, recorded in 1905:

Here’s pianist Egon Petri playing Les Jeux d’eau à la Villa d’Este by Liszt, recorded in 1908:

Here’s Austrian conductor and composer Felix Mottl playing the Vorspiel to Wagner’s opera Tristan und Isolde, recorded in 1909:

Here’s Austrian-American pianist Artur Schnabel playing Fritz Kreisler’s Old Vienna Waltzes, recorded in 1905:

Here’s Ukrainian born pianist Vladimir de Pachmann playing Liszt’s Étude de concert No. 2, recorded in 1906:

Here’s composer/pianist Gustav Mahler playing his solo piano transcription of Ging heut’ morgen über’s Feld, recorded in 1907:

Here’s Norwegian composer and pianist Edvard Grieg playing one of his own compositions, Butterfly, Op. 41, No. 1, recorded in 1907:

Here’s Austrian pianist and composer Alfred Grünfeld playing Schumann’s Fantasiestücke, Op. 12, No. 1, recorded in 1905: