The thematic focus of BrightTideMovingBetween extends through a richly illustrated package, to provide a sensual aural and visual experience affirming that beauty is very much at home in contemporary classical music. The music reflects a distillation of some very finely honed live performances and a deepening of artistic focus, qualities that deservedly led to the album being nominated as a 2008 NZ Music Awards Classical Album Finalist.
NZTRIO – BrightTideMovingBetween
Bright Sheng (China/USA): Four Movements for Piano Trio
Ross Edwards (Australia): Piano Trio
Poco adagio e mesto, quasi recitativo
Toru Takemitsu (Japan): Between Tides
Gillian Whitehead (NZ): Piano Trio
Production: Marc Taddei
Recording: Steve Garden
RAT-D017 (April, 2008)
This recording was made possible thanks to the support of The University of Auckland.
BrightTideMovingBetween, NZTrio: Ian Dando - New Zealand Listener
Rattle’s modern titling format – with a lower-case elided brighttidemovingbetween – matches NZTrio’s new perspective, indicating we belong to the nascent Asia-Pacific Rim rather than effete Europe weighed down by its illustrious past. Their selection underlines this with Australian Ross Edward’s rhythmically ebullient Piano Trio, the sensitive depiction of water in our own Gillian Whitehead’s substantial Piano Trio 2005, the Messiaenic harmonies of Between Tides by Japan’s Toru Takemitsu and Four Movements for Piano Trio by China’s Bright Sheng. Sheng’s slowly sliding microtones, melodies with oriental decoration and heterophonic sonority have an invigorating Chinese freshness a world apart from Europe.
NZTrio’s innovative programme is as addictive as the youthful energy of its playing from violinist Justine Cormack, cellist Ashley Brown and pianist Sarah Watkins.
Ian Dando – New Zealand Listener
A Gem: Chris Moore - Christchurch Press
NZTrio’s latest recording is a gem. It included works by four international composers of note – Bright Sheng, Ross Edwards, Toru Takemitsu and Gillian Whitehead (Rattle CD RAT-D017). Beautifully recorded and well presented, despite a fidgety set of cover notes, the CD is evidence, if any is required, of the maturity and assurance of classical music in New Zealand. The music is accessible and absorbing and the NZTrio has never sounded better, playing with panache and sensitivity.
Chris Moore – Christchurch Press