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Zofo Plays Terry Riley - Washington Post

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The piano duet - where four hands squeeze together on one keyboard - hasn't always enjoyed a stellar reputation. Surely not as distinctive as the exalted solo tradition and not as bold as the deluxe two-piano configuration, the lowly four-hands duet has nonetheless attracted many of the greats, from Mozart and Schubert to Debussy and Ligeti.

The American minimalist pioneer Terry Riley has made his own contributions, and arriving right on time to mark the composer's 80th birthday on Wednesday is a sparkling new album of his works for piano four-hands by Eva-Maria Zimmermann and Keisuke Nakagoshi. Going by ZOFO (short for 20-finger orchestra), Zimmermann and Nakagoshi discovered Riley's four-hand music several years ago when a friend handed them the score to "Cinco de Mayo." Zofo sent a performance to Riley and he responded with his blessing, along with the four additional scores that make up "The Heaven Ladder, Book 5," which makes up the bulk of this album.