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ZOFO are Eva-Maria Zimmermann and Keisuke Nakagoshi, who play as a ‘20-finger orchestra’ at a single keyboard (ZO stands for 20 and FO as Finger Orchestra). On the evidence of this programme, they make a highly effective and accomplished pairing, the playing fresh and responsive with commendable touch and fluency, attributes that serve them well in Terry Riley’s mellifluous and euphonious writing. Indeed, their expressive and interpretative powers are taxed by the demands of the programme as a whole, with a real danger of the works blurring one into another. By dint of canny programming and execution, they avoid this pitfall. The five works comprising The Heaven Ladder, Book 5 top and tail the disc. The delightful Simone’s Lullaby, given in ZOFO’s own transcription (as are G Song and Half-Wolf Dances Mad in Moonlight), is from Book 7. Best of all is Praying Mantis Rag, commissioned by ZOFO, a fine example of the humour and sheer fun in their playing.

GUY RICKARDS Read the full review on Agora Classica


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