Special 6-CD Limited Edition

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart


Includes numerous rare fragments



Artistic Quality: 10 / Sound Quality: 8 | “The Smith/Pierce cycle’s special qualities deserve equal consideration… Smith and Pierce favor hard-hitting yet imaginatively inflected fast movements and slow movements that sing out yet never drag… The slightly dry engineering underlines the silvery quality of Smith’s high-register work and the tonal warmth of his lower strings… More significantly, the interpretations consistently demonstrate palpable joy, spontaneous repartee, and playful flexibility. It’s hard to point out standout moments when we are spoiled for choice in nearly every work… [In the A major K.305’s variation movement] the natural ebb and flow that the musicians generate obliterates the bar lines. In short, all six discs exemplify good and honest, unpretentious, and vibrantly communicative music-making. Don’t under-estimate this release!”
Jed Distler, Classics Today [September 2022]
"...lively and joyful..."
SAI Pan Pipes [Summer 2022]
"This is a special achievement. There are many other fine recordings of many of these sonatas, but the completeness of this set engenders a synergy that rewards the committed listener with insight into one of the greatest musical minds in history... Smith and Pierce capture [Mozart's process] with a rhythmically free style that lends an appropriately improvisatory quality to their playing... Smith and Pierce present [Mozart's early works] as seriously and committedly as they do the mature work, with absolutely no sense of condescension... This team reports a sense of “breathing as one” when they play, and that essential chamber music attribute is palpable on this recording... Joshua Pierce’s repertoire is impressively comprehensive, including a good deal of contemporary music, but here he sounds like a naturally idiomatic Mozart player. Mozart’s directive that his piano music 'should flow like oil' is duly observed by Pierce... the sheer breadth of this project, and the vision of the performers, make this a vital contribution to the recorded catalog of Mozart’s music."
Peter Burwasser, Fanfare [September/October 2022]
"There are, of course, varied opinions regarding the worth of Mozart’s juvenilia, especially in comparison to his later compositions... The beauty of releases like the MSR set is that it allows the listener to make his own judgment, at least regarding Mozart’s violin and piano sonatas. That opportunity is presented not just by the release’s comprehensive survey, but by the quality of the performances themselves. For regardless of the work, Smith and Pierce treat it with the utmost respect, care, and affection... Mozart valued execution that was precise but never mechanical, an attractive singing tone, a pure legato, and supple phrasing. All of those elements pervade the renditions by Smith and Pierce... The level of execution on these concert recordings is admirable... Smith and Pierce’s accomplished and engaging performances reaffirmed my affection for the more familiar violin and piano works, and increased my admiration for the earliest pieces... Recommended."
Ken Meltzer, Fanfare [September/October 2022]
"This is the most complete recording of Mozart’s piano and violin compositions that I know... Most surprising is the Sonata in A, K 402. The sound here is unusually rich, and the four and a half minute Andante is given a uniquely majestic performance... These are certainly fine interpretations, and the extra music will be valuable."
Michael Ullman, Fanfare [September/October 2022]
"[The sonatas are] well played on a six-disc boxed set of Mozart’s complete sonatas by violinist Andrew Smith and the always-brilliant pianist Joshua Pierce."
CD Hotlist for Libraries [June 2022]
"these are valiant...performances. For those who...wish to make a first acquaintance with these works, the comprehensiveness, compact dimensions and price-point of this six-disc collection may well appeal."
David Threasher, Gramophone [August 2022]
"Smith and Pierce are successful here in playing the sonatas with involvement and joy, allowing them to bring forth the listening pleasure that Mozart tries to convey in his music for instruments of all sorts, very definitely including the violin... What matters most is how well Smith and Pierce understand the music and how well they handle a number of its challenges, notably including the differing balances between and treatment of instruments in the various sonatas. They are also admirably sensitive to stylistic differentiation."
Mark J. Estren, InfoDad [May 2022]
"Over the course of the six thoughtfully planned concerts [hosted by WSHU and Sacred Heart University] audiences went on a journey with violinist Andrew Smith and pianist Joshua Pierce to travel down one of the lesser-known roads of Mozart’s history. This six-CD Limited Edition set brings together those performances – in particular, the early works and unfinished sketches, including many rare fragments – that give us a glimpse into this underappreciated music and help us understand how the works fit into the grand scale of Mozart’s enormous contributions to classical music... Andrew Smith and Joshua Pierce play with great intelligence and sensitivity and these memorable performances, recorded live, are now available to enjoy in this outstanding box set."
John Pitt, New Classics [April 2022]

Sharing unforgettable music experiences has been a part of WSHU Public Radio’s mission since the station was founded nearly 40 years ago. When we were approached with the exciting idea of presenting every single piece Mozart wrote for violin and piano as a concert series, we immediately got behind this amazing project.
Over the course of the six thoughtfully planned concerts, entitled “Hidden in Plain Sight”, our audiences went on a journey with Andrew Smith and Joshua Pierce to travel down one of the lesser-known roads of Mozart’s history. Andrew and Joshua’s performances of this music – in particular, the early works and unfinished sketches – gave us a glimpse into this underappreciated music, and helped us understand how these works fit into the grand scale of Mozart’s enormous contributions to classical music. All of us at WSHU are proud to now have this lasting testament of these memorable performances, recorded live, to enjoy over and over. [Kate Remington, Music Director, WSHU]

Hosted by WSHU Radio | Sponsored by the family of Anita McPherson

Performances: 27 January, 24 February, 24 March, 14 April, 19 May and 16 June 2019. Recorded at The Stone Family Assembly Hall, WSHU Public Radio Broadcast Center, Fairfield, Connecticut. Recording engineer: Paul Litwinovich, WSHU Chief Engineer. Assistant engineers: Andrew Smith and McLee Mathias. Mixing and mastering: Rob Fraboni at Trinity Lane. Additional mixing completed at Carriage House Studio, Stamford, Connecticut.

Violinist Andrew Smith enjoys a multifaceted career as a performer, composer and educator. Hailed by audiences and critics alike for his virtuoso playing, intelligent approach and richly expressive sound, he made his London debut at the Royal Festival Hall and has since appeared in concert in venues around the world, including Symphony Hall in Chicago, Orchestra Hall in Detroit, Lincoln Center and Carnegie Hall, and abroad at the Edinburgh International Festival, Le Salle Gaveau and at the British Embassy in Paris. His performances have been broadcast on Radio and Television in the United States, England, Italy, Portugal and China. A champion of contemporary music, Smith has performed with Sir Peter Maxwell Davis, John Corigliano, George Benjamin and Hans Werner Henze, among others. In the field of Early  Music, he worked closely with Helmuth Rilling as concertmaster of the Bach Institute and European Chamber Consort. He has recorded for ASV, Sony Classical, Mahin Media, VUCA; this Mozart set marks his first release on MSR Classics. His recording of the complete Beethoven Violin Sonatas received rave reviews that pointed out his deeply considered interpretations, finesse and poise. In addition to working in classical music, Smith is a prolific recording artist working across multiple genres, including Rock and Pop, and can be heard on soundtracks for Television, Film and leading Gaming platforms, including Xbox. As a composer, he has received commissions from the BBC, Heart of England Opera and European Chamber Opera. His music has been published by Faber Music, released on the Gothic Storm and Minim Labels and is heard around the world. Smith is a leading authority on Fin-de-Siècle music and its interaction with art and poetry in France and Belgium. While a student, he received the Royal Academy of Music’s award for music theory and founded The Rubicon Ensemble, a new music group with musicians from the London Symphony Orchestra, Royal Opera House, BBC Symphony Orchestra and English National Opera. He has led the Stamford International Music Festival, The Copland Centenary Festival and Connecticut Guitar Festival.

Pianist Joshua Pierce has performed at the world’s most prestigious music centers with orchestras including the Royal Philharmonic, Philharmonia Orchestra, Berlin Radio Symphony Orchestra, Symphony Orchestra of Russia, Moscow State Philharmonic, Czech Radio Symphony Orchestra, Czech National Symphony, Slovak Philharmonic, Slovak State Philharmonia, Slovak Radio Symphony, Slovak State Chamber Orchestra, Luxembourg Philharmonic, Italian Radio Orchestra (RAI), Mexico City Philharmonic, Orchestra Sinfonica Nacional of Peru and Cappella Istropolitana. In the United States, he has appeared with the Utah Symphony, San Antonio Symphony and Chicago Sinfonietta, and at New York’s major venues including Symphony Space, Steinway Hall, The DiMenna Center, Merkin Hall, Carnegie Hall and Lincoln Center. The Grammy nominated Pierce, who has also received grants from the Aaron Copland Fund for Music, has recorded more than 230 works on 65 CDs for Albany Records, BBC Recordings, Carlton Classics, Centaur, Fanfare, EMI Classics, JVC, Koch International, MSR Classics, Naxos, Phoenix, Sony Classical, Varese Sarabande, Virgin Classics, Vox and Wergo. Among his recordings are the complete concertos of Beethoven, Brahms, Liszt and Gershwin, as well as works for piano and orchestra by J.S. Bach, Britten, Casella, Chopin, Ellington, Finzi, Franck, Khachaturian, Liszt, Malipiero, Martinu, Milhaud, Prokofiev, Rachmaninov, Respighi, Rimsky-Korsakov, Saint-Saens, Shostakovich, Richard Strauss and Tchaikovsky. His landmark series of John Cage’s music on the Wergo and Solyd labels earned him worldwide acclaim as an interpreter of contemporary music and he has received the German Music Critics Award, the Diapason Award and Fono Forum Award. His 30-year collaboration with the pianist Dorothy Jonas produced acclaimed first recordings of numerous works and a command performance for Great Britain’s Royal Family. Highly regarded as a chamber music collaborator, he has performed with Russia’s Leontovich String Quartet, Pierce-Aomori Clarinet and Piano Duo, Chamber Players International and with violinist Eric Friedman and cellist Jeffrey Solow. Pierce has been a judge for many international piano competitions and has served on the Board of the International Fulbright Foundation. He is a winner of the Grand Prize of the IBLA International Competition for Contemporary Music and a nominee for the 23rd International Franz Liszt Grand Prix du Disque Prize of Hungary.  

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Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1756-1791)

Mannheim Sonatas, Op.1 | Part 1
SONATA IN G MAJOR, K.301 (1778)
I. Allegro con spirito
II. Allegro

I. Allegro
II. Rondeau (Andante grazioso)

SONATA IN C MAJOR, K.303 (1778)
I. Adagio – Molto allegro
II. Tempo di Menuetto

Wunderkind Sonatas (Paris), Op.1
I. Allegro
II. Andante
III. Menuetto I and II
IV. Allegro molto

I. Allegro molto
II. Andante
III. Menuetto I and II
Mannheim Sonatas Op.1 | Part 2
SONATA IN E MINOR, K.304 (Paris, 1778)
I. Allegro
II. Tempo di Menuetto

SONATA IN A MAJOR, K.305 (1778)
I. Allegro di molto
II. Thema (Andante grazioso)

SONATA IN D MAJOR, K.306 (Paris, 1778)
I. Allegro con spirito
II. Andantino cantabile
III. Allegretto – Allegro

Wunderkind Sonatas (Paris), Op.2
I. Allegro
II. Andante grazioso
III. Menuetto I and II

I. Allegro spiritoso
II. Andante
III. Menuetto I and II
Wunderkind Sonatas (Holland), Op.4
I. Allegro molto
II. Adagio poco andante
III. Rondeaux (Allegro)

SONATA IN G MAJOR, K.27 (1766)
I. Andante poco adagio
II. Allegro

SONATA IN C MAJOR, K.28 (1766)
I. Allegro maestoso
II. Allegro grazioso

SONATA IN D MAJOR, K.29 (1766)
I. Allegro molto
II. Menuetto and Trio

SONATA IN F MAJOR, K.30 (1766)
I. Adagio
II. Rondeaux (Tempo di Menuetto)

I. Allegro
II. Tempo di Menuetto (Moderato)

Late Viennese Sonata
SONATA IN F MAJOR, K.547 (1788)
I. Andantino cantabile
II. Allegro
III. Thema (Andante con variazioni)
Auernhammer Sonatas | Part 1
SONATA IN F MAJOR, K.376 (1781)
I. Allegro
II. Andante
III. Rondeau (Allegretto grazioso)

SONATA IN C MAJOR, K.296 (1778)
I. Allegro vivace
II. Andante sostenuto
III. Rondeau (Allegro)

SONATA IN F MAJOR, K.377 (1781)
I. Allegro
II. Thema (Andante)
III. Tempo di Menuetto

Fragments | Part 1
Sonata Movement in G major, Anh.47 (Fragment) (1790-91)
Sonata Movement in A major, Anh.48 (Fragment) (1781)
Andante and Allegretto in C major, K.404 (1784-86)
I. Andante
II. Allegretto
Sonata in A major, K.402 – Andante and Fugue (1782)
I. Andante, ma un poco adagio
II. Allegro moderato
Sonata Movement in B-flat major, K.372 (1781) (Completed by M. Stadler)
Auernhammer Sonatas | Part 2
SONATA IN B-FLAT MAJOR, K.378 (1779-80)
I. Allegro moderato
II. Andantino sostenuto e cantabile
III. Rondeau (Allegro)

SONATA IN G MAJOR, K.379 (1781)
I. Adagio – Allegro
II. Thema (Andantino cantabile)

I. Allegro
II. Andante con moto
III. Rondeau

Fragments | Part 2
Fantasie in C minor, K.396 (Fragment) (1781)
Sonata in C major, K.403 (1784-86) (Completed by M. Stadler)
I. Allegro moderato
II. Andante
III. Allegretto
Late Viennese Sonatas
I. Largo – Allegro
II. Andante
III. Allegretto

I. Molto allegro
II. Adagio
III. Allegretto; Variazioni

SONATA IN A MAJOR, K.526 (1787)
I. Molto allegro
II. Andante
III. Presto

MSR Classics