"Joshua Pierce succeeds brilliantly; every time something repeats, it is varied in the most subtle manner, so that it retains its place in the structure without becoming redundant. Beautiful music, performed distinctively, with great feeling."
Turok's Choice - Issue No.205, December 2008
"Pierce is a no nonsense performer...the music is left to speak for itself...[Pierce's playing] is always direct and fully reliable...Pierce demonstrates a powerful approach to this music. Climaxes are strongly stated...[Pierce's playing] is quite excellent overall...I found myself admiring and then starting to love his forthright interpretations. Notes and recording leave nothing to be desired."
American Record Guide - November / December 2008
"...Seriousness and breadth rightly give way to lyrical fantasy in Pierce's interpretation of the C minor Impromptu...Pierce's singing legato fully emerges in a fluid, flexible account of the A-flat...I appreciate the concluding F minor for Pierce's crisp articulation and genuine feeling for the composer's syncopated touches."
Gramophone - November 2008
"...this assemblage of the eight impromptus of 1826 has Joshua Pierce playing them as though each set of four were a sonata in its own right, an emotional unity... Pierce brings a formidable, fluent technique to these familiar keyboard staples, emphasizing the big Gs of the opening C Minor Impromptu and making short work of the triplet runs in the pungent No. 2 in E-flat Major. The evolving melos of the G-flat Major Impromptu Pierce accomplishes by emphasizing the bass trill in the manner of the posthumous B-flat Major Sonata. The last of the D. 899 set, the A-flat Major, has Pierce relishing its deliberate ambiguity of modality... The C-sharp Minor middle section brings out rich colors from the Pierce palette, and the da capo elicits all sorts of liquid ripples and gurgles that must have their roots in the many an Austrian outdoor excursion...[In the] F Minor Impromptu...Pierce applies a soothing legato to the filigree of the D-flat Major/Minor Trio section, impelling it forward in the manner of a real improvisation, trill and arpeggiated triplets quite pronounced...The piu Presto coda [in the F Minor Allegro scherzando] proves a moment Mr. Pierce obviously anticipated with his customary zeal."
Audiophile Audition - October 2008
"Joshua Pierce has become one of my favorite pianists in recent years, and the next time someone asks me why, I'm just going to refer them to this disc of Schubert impromptus (Opp. 90 and 142), which Pierce plays with the perfect balance of inwardness and emotion. You can't play Schubert well without understanding his strange and tragic personality, and on this disc you get the feeling that the composer is being channeled through the pianist. Is there higher praise than that?"
CD HotList for Libraries - October 2008
"This new recording of the Impromptus, Op. 90 and 142, Volume 2 of a projected 3-volume Schubert series by pianist Joshua Pierce, is a genuine delight. In these eight pieces, probably the composer’s most instantly recognized and best-loved works for the keyboard, Pierce shows a very natural rubato, an appropriately affective use of the pedals, and a keen feeling for the rhythm and flow of the music...
Too many performers trade on the most obvious aspect of Franz Schubert’s romanticism, the soft, sweetly feminine lyricism, so highly expressive and poetic. But Pierce also captures a wild, manic quality in the music that was also part of the composer’s character. The dramatic cadences that interrupt the quicksilver flow of the triplets in the E-flat Impromptu, Op. 90, No.2, show that Pierce really knows when to "take it big" (as they used to say in the movies), a flair for the dramatic that he no doubt honed in the course of many memorable duo-piano recitals with his partner Dorothy Jonas...
The thing you need to know about the Impromptu, a form that Schubert seems to have created, is that the name implies an inspired improvisation. Considering the fact that some of these musical gems have a playing time of 8 or 10 minutes and wander considerably beyond the cozy bounds of their ABA ternary form, that’s stretching the idea of "working on a riff" quite a bit. But the impression of spontaneity has to be there, and in that respect Joshua Pierce’s interpretations are as satisfying as one could possibly desire...
From the beginning, Schubert’s contemporaries (Robert Schumann, for one) often felt that his Four Impromptus, Op. 90 were a sonata in all but name, although the composer insisted otherwise. There is at least a general sense of unity here, and Pierce chooses to emphasize their family resemblance rather than play it down..."