bright tide moving between is NZTrio’s first outing on Rattle Records, after Spark, its critically acclaimed 2005 debut on Trust. The album signals a maturing artistic focus as NZTrio keeps one foot proudly on the shores of Aotearoa, while taking its listeners on a journey out through the Pacific Rim.
Bright Tide’s thematic focus extends through a richly illustrated package, to provide a sensual aural and visual experience affirming that beauty is easily at home in contemporary classical music, right here, right now.
The album represents a distillation of the experience of some very finely honed live performances of the music, which NZTrio has performed since 2005.
bright tide moving between was a finalist for Best Classical Album at the 2008 Vodafone New Zealand Music Awards.
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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


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

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