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Grant Chu Covell
La Folia, May 2017

Calling themselves ZOFO, a gently distorted shortening of “20-Finger Orchestra,” this capable duo escapes Earth’s atmosphere starting with the Estonian composer Sisask’s two-movement four-hand sonata. Sisask uses a “planetal scale,” C#-D-F#-G#-A, in various permutations alongside zither-like interior sounds. The central offering is the well-worn Planets refreshing in ZOFO’s own arrangement where it’s easy to catch the Stravinsky and Schoenberg influences (Venus). Saturn and Neptune are especially eerie in this design. Alpha Centauri and Beta Cygni are a tantalizing selection, just two of the four pieces Crumb wrote for amplified piano four-hands. Like the Sisask, the physical interactions with the interior come through. Lang’s concluding gravity is a stately pavane with a subtle, continuously falling gesture. © 2017 La Folia

Norman Cahn
I Care If You Listen, April 2015

…ZOFO’s music in ZOFORBIT: A Space Odyssey manages to immerse us in an odyssey of its own. Performed in the medium for four-hand piano, the album promotes a sense of emptiness and spatial distance in the music—an ideal theater for exploring the unknown. © 2015 I Care If You Listen Read complete review

James Harrington
American Record Guide, November 2014

…an inventive and extremely well-played cosmic recital. © 2014 American Record Guide Read complete review on American Record Guide

Lawrence D. Devoe, October 2014

This…[new] offering in the Sono Luminus ZOFO discography is another revelation in to how much excitement that twenty fingers can generate…the performance of Holst’s The Planets in its four-hand transcription is absolutely riveting. The newer compositions exploit the many tonal colors that keys, hammers, pedals, and strings can generate. Come to this disc with no preconceptions and be prepared to leave it completely amazed! © 2014 Read complete review, October 2014

The Pure Audio Blu-ray recording has remarkable sonic clarity and colour, with high resolution surround sound… © 2014 Read complete review

Stephen Smoliar, September 2014

By abstracting out the dominating role of Holst’s selection of instrumental colors, the performance draws the listener’s attention to the expressiveness of his thematic material and the harmonic contexts for that material. One might even say that, in this four-hand setting, one is more likely to appreciate the virtues of [the Planets Suite] as music, rather than merely as “sonic spectacle.” © 2014 Read complete review

Steven Ritter
Audiophile Audition, August 2014

A knock-your-socks off album of tremendous sonic import, with radiant performances to boot

This astounding album completely took me by surprise. Normally I am averse—or at least highly suspicious—of piano four-hands, but Zofo, or better yet, pianists Eva-Marie Zimmermann and Keisuke Nakagoshi knocked my socks off with this recording. First of all, who says that surround sound, and vivid surround sound at that, can’t benefit a solo piano? Believe me, with the rapturous noise that these two make, with infinite gradations of perfectly placed dynamics, you will experience the piano in a whole new way.

This is a great album, a true surround sonic spectacular, and full of superb performances that should not be missed. © 2014 Audiophile Audition Read complete review

Graham Rickson
The Arts Desk, June 2014

What’s billed, slightly portentously, as “a metaphorical exploration of the galaxy” turns out to be a blast. Hear [Holst’s Planets] just once and you’ll quite happily never sit through the orchestral version again. Two musicians are inevitably a bit more nimble than a hundred…

The recording…is a thing of beauty. A wonderful release. © 2015 The Arts Desk Read complete review

Brian Wigman
Classical Net, June 2014

This is a typically adventurous program from a label that’s always been willing to think outside the box. That wouldn’t matter were the performances not of high caliber, and they are astoundingly so.

ZOFO’s playing is beyond reproach…the sound is terrific in standard stereo, and the notes…are well-written and easy to read.

…the program as a whole is a delight. Try this for something new, because I’m very glad that I did. © 2014 Classical Net Read complete review

Grego Applegate Edwards
Gapplegate Classical-Modern Music Review, June 2014

The album is called ZOFORBIT: A Space Odyssey…It is a logical grouping of four compositions for piano, four hands, with the theme of space, the universe, the cosmos.

ZOFO is Eva-Maria Zimmermann and Keisuke Nakagoshi. They combine a very together simpatico duo dynamic with a real sense of fun.

…here we have what is a real treat…something in the outer zone, eminently suited for those evenings when you don the silver space outfit, get out the Tang and head for realms unknown and far away. If there is hope for the younger generation taking to modern classical, ZOFO has found a way—making it fun! Give it to your teenager or budding toddler, even. A delight! © 2014 Gapplegate Classical-Modern Music Review Read complete review

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