Hupfeld Piano Roll Recordings


Scriabin made two series of piano roll recordings: for Hupfeld (1908) and for Welte (1910). The Welte recordings are now well-known, with more than one good transfer having been made. The Hupfeld recordings are much less commonly heard and are more problematic, as the reproducing mechanism requires human agency to bring the performance alive by means of nuance. When this is done with the artistry of Rex Lawson of the Pianola Institute, the result is convincing and lifelike, and so it is a great advantage to the listening public that these rolls have been recorded by him and Denis Hall on Denis’ excellent Steck reproducing grand piano.

The works played by Scriabin and re-created by Rex Lawson are:

Etude in Ab, Op. 8/8

Feuillet d’Album, Op. 45/1

Mazurka in F minor, Op. 25/1

Mazurka in E minor, Op. 25/3  

Mazurka in F#, Op. 40/2  

Poème in F#, Op. 32/1

Poème in D, Op. 32/2

Prelude in C# minor, Op. 11/10

Preludes in Gb and Eb minor, Op. 11/13-14

Preludes in Db and Bb minor, Op. 17/3-4

Sonata-Fantasie in G# minor, Op. 19

Sonata no. 3 in F# minor, Op. 23

The whole playlist  is at 

And the numbers are also listed separately on the Pianola Institute’s own YouTube page:

with a mention and introductory paragraph on the Pianola Institute’s home web page:

I believe that these performances shed new light on Scriabin’s originality mastery as a performer and demand a hearing!

Simon Nicholls