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Lawrence D. Devoe, MD, June 2013

ZOFO executes to near perfection, a varied program of twenty fingers tickling the ivories of one Steinway. The perfect interplay of all those digits comes from considerable experience as a musical team and makes for a terrific way to spend an hour-plus. The repertory choices are brilliant, taking us through a wide range of styles. The biggest winners, to my ears, were the delightful six “dance” movements of the Barber Sonatina, Corigliano’s evocative four-part Gazebo Dances, and the Shawn Three Dance Portraits with its jazzy, rocking sections. All of these pieces exploited the added rhythms and dynamics that the extra pair of hands supplies. Aided by state-of-the-art recording, this is another hit for Sono Luminus team. © 2013 Read complete review

Oleg Ledeniov
MusicWeb International, March 2013

This, [Eva-Maria Zimmerman and Keisuke Nakagoshi’s] first CD, provides a fascinating program and spectacular performances to match, so I am not surprised that the record has just become a Grammy nominee!

Bernstein’s flamboyant Candide Overture feels surprisingly comfortable in these new clothes. Its orchestral version is a firework display of colors but the piano provides an alternative palette and is as scintillating as the original. The music prances happily along, collecting motifs by the armful and throwing them up in the air. The performers play with enthusiasm and élan. They are not afraid to apply brute force when needed, and convey all the humor of this light-hearted gallop of a piece. It’s vivaciousness and happiness all the way.

…[in] Four-Hands Sonata…The performers play with excellent drive. The Sonata is a student’s work…but it is technically well written and even memorable…it is accessible and enjoyable…

Overall, this is a very good disc. The four diverse works sound well together. The recording is very close and detailed…I wish them luck in the Grammy stakes, and will look out for other records by these spectacular four hands. © 2013 MusicWeb International Read complete review

Phillip Scott
Fanfare, November 2012

These two fine pianists have been playing together under the name Zofo…They display tight ensemble and are of one mind in matters of tempo and expression, as duo-piano teams need to be…Their program contains some interesting music.

The best parts of this program are the pieces originally intended for the medium. Debussy’s languorous Épigraphs Antiques are ideal for this duo, which responds winningly to the subtle colors and delicacy of the writing. I would go so far as to say this is the finest recording I know of this sensual work. The real find, however, is the four-hand sonata by Harold Shapero…This three-movement, 16-minute sonata shows the influence of Stravinsky overall, unsurprisingly, in its sharp edged textures and rhythms, yet there is also a lyrical impulse that I can only describe as American. Like the best of the American neoclassicists, Shapero took a pared-back, unemotional European style and brought warmth to it. Zofo responds to both the hard edge and the underlying lyricism, and once again the tempos seem absolutely right.

The sound quality is excellent, spacious and clear. Recommended… © 2012 Fanfare

WRUV Reviews, July 2012

Highly varying works for four hands piano. Stravinsky’s “Rite of Spring” popular. Debussy’s and Shapero’s pieces are lovely. © 2012 WRUV Reviews

Janos Gereben
San Francisco Classical Voice, July 2012

Four-hands-one-piano performances are dime a dozen, but not the ZOFO way. They are among the handful…of full-time professional duos, and in this CD, their unusual combination of bravura and depth is obvious from the get-go.

The pianists have their distinct voices, but the combination is an integrated whole, similar to a great orchestra’s fusion of individual instruments.

ZOFO’s interpretation of the complex, shimmering harmonies of Debussy’s Epigraphes antiques is simply gorgeous, especially in “Pour que la Nuit Soit Propice”…and “Pour Remercier la Pluie au Matin”…

The biggie is Stravinsky’s The Rite of Spring, showing off the two players’ virtuosity…as the work progresses to the pulsing, throbbing sounds of “The Sacrifice,” Zimmermann and Nakagoshi do full justice to this orgiastic masterpiece. © 2012 San Francisco Classical Voice Read complete review

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