The four-hand repertoire was certainly not popular during the period that the young Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and his slightly older sister Nannerl would be placed behind a clavier to entertain audiences with four-hand music. However, much had already been written for two or more keyboard instruments. Le Roux, Mattheson, Handel and Johann Sebastian Bach, for example, each contributed to an impressive repertoire for two or more harpsichords. For four-hand music (two performers playing a single instrument), the world would have to wait for Charles Burney, Johann Christian Bach and, most of all, for Mozart. He would have become acquainted with the repertoire through J.C. Bach during a concert trip to London. In all, Mozart wrote five duet sonatas and several separate works for pianoforte four-hand.
On this CD, the two four-hand pieces are Mozart’s last two and most monumental sonatas. They explore the limits of the pianoforte, both literally and regarding sound volume. Mozart did not shy away from giving both players an independent and often complicated and technically demanding part.