Zoforbit: A Space Odyssey

Zoforbit: A Space Odyssey


Artist: ZOFO Duet

Composers: George Crumb, Gustav Holst, David Lang, Urmas Sisask

Format: 1 CD + 1 Pure Audio Blu-ray


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In this third album from GRAMMY®-nominated ensemble ZOFO, the critically acclaimed piano duo takes the listener on a metaphorical exploration of the galaxy with mesmerizing, outer space-themed duet works by four noted composers of the 20th and 21st centuries - Gustav Holst, George Crumb, David Lang and Urmas Sisask preformed on one piano - four hands.

Since joining forces as a professional duo in 2009, Eva-Maria Zimmermann and Keisuke Nakagoshi - ZOFO - have electri ed audiences from Carnegie Hall to Osaka, Japan with their dazzling artistry and outside- the-box thematic programming for piano-four-hands. This prize winning Steinway Artist ensemble - one of only a handful of duos worldwide devoted exclusively to piano duets - is blazing a bold new path for piano-four-hands groups by focusing on 20th and 21st century repertoire and by commissioning new works from noted composers each year.

ZOFO’s debut album MIND MELD (DSL-92151), released by Sono Luminus in April, 2012, received a 2013 GRAMMY® Award nomination in the category of Best Chamber Music/Small Ensemble Performance. MOSH PIT (DSL-92167), ZOFO’s second release, put the duo’s considerable keyboard skills to the test in exciting, high energy, evocative dance-themed duets from an all American group of noted 20th century composers.

ZOFORBIT, ZOFO’s third album with Sono Luminus, takes the listener on an intragalactic voyage through the Milky Way, with musical visits to the planets of our solar system, to bright stars of the galaxy, and back again. Estonian composer Urmas Sisask sets the mood with the other-worldly sounds of his composition The Milky Way, featuring innovative inside and outside the piano techniques that evoke a sense of the cosmos. The journey continues with a tour of Gustav Holst’s The Planets, and visits to the stars Alpha Centauri and Beta Cygni as musically envisioned by George Crumb in his one-piano-four-hands masterpiece Celestial Mechanics (Makrokosmos IV). The space exploration concludes with David Lang’s Gravity, which metaphorically coaxes the listener back to earth in slow-moving patterns of descending notes.

All is presentented with stunning sonic clarity and color on this Pure Audio Blu-rayTM release which includes a Blu-rayTM copy with high resolution surround sound and stereo versions, standard CD, and digital copies via mShuttle.

Track List

Urmas Sisask
Sonata for Piano 4 Hands, Op. 24, "The Milky Way”
1. I. — 7:37
2. II. — 3:57

Gustav Holst
The Planets, Op. 32 (arr. for piano 4 hands)
3. I. Mars, the Bringer of War 6:41
4. II. Venus, the Bringer of Peace 6:42
5. III. Mercury, the Winged Messenger 3:46
6. IV. Jupiter, the Bringer of Jollity 7:27
7. V. Saturn, the Bringer of Old Age 7:42
8. VI. Uranus, the Magician 5:34
9. VII. Neptune, the Mystic 5:56

David Lang
Celestial Mechanics, "Makrokosmos IV" (excerpts)
10. I. Alpha Centauri 3:58
11. II. Beta Cygni 4:56

David Lang
12. Gravity 5:08

Total time: 73:03
Release date: May 2014
UPC: 053479217820

Quotes & Reviews

Hear this just once and you'll quite happily never sit through the orchestral version again.

Graham Rickson, The Arts Desk

Right, the music: it's fabulous. In an industry where a “space”-themed album means movie themes and John Williams excerpts, it's great to see a program that looks for new and innovative ways to effectively explore the intergalactic premise. Surrounding a favorite like The Planets with a trio of contemporary works is nothing short of genius, and explores the artistic range of this duo in the best possible way.

Brian Wigman, Classical Net

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 1sense 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!

Grego Applegate Edwards, Gapplegate Classical-Modern Music Review

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.

Steven Ritter, Audiophile Audition

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.
— Graham Rickson, The Arts Desk

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