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Colin Clarke
Fanfare, March 2012

Albulescu plays most beautifully here, spinning McLeod’s simple but effective lines with great tenderness. There is a real swing to the finale (“Rondo Latino”). Albulescu clearly has a great technique, as well as the capacity to enjoy himself, even under studio conditions.

The recording…is exemplary. Recommended. © 2012 Fanfare Read complete review on Fanfare

MusicWeb International, February 2012

Neither conductor nor orchestra are overly taxed by McLeod’s unassuming scores, but their performances are entirely creditable. US-based Kiwi pianist of Romanian descent Eugene Albulescu, in his first recording for Naxos, has considerably more to do in the Concerto, but comes out on top… © 2012 MusicWeb International Read complete review

Thomas Goss, The Critic’s Chair
Radio New Zealand, September 2011

Generously tuneful, even populist in a way, the music is nevertheless crafted with extreme care and emboldened with a wide-reaching imagination. There’s also an easygoing sincerity, yet devastating directness. McLeod’s celebration of modern idioms of rhythm and harmonic simplicity results in a work that not only captures the spirit of its time but also stands above it, with continuing relevance today.

David Denton
David's Review Corner, September 2011

Which Jenny McLeod you end up hearing depends when you dip into a career that started out as an avant-garde composer but later rebelled and toured with her own ‘pop’ group in the 1970’s. The present disc covers music from the 1980’s when McLeod was in the period where music should be ‘enjoyable’, opening with a descriptive score for children based on Hans Christian Andersen’s story, The Emperor and the Nightingale. It has as its inspiration Prokofiev’s Peter and the Wolf, with the flute predictably cast in the role of the nightingale. At under half an hour it is just long enough to paint musical pictures for a very young audience. For ‘grown ups’ the performance from the narrator, Helen Medlyn, is so outstanding in her many voices as to keep them interested. I just hope today’s children will enjoy it as their grandparents would wish them to. Three Celebrations are musical pictures of vistas familiar to New Zealanders, opening with a Journey through Mountain Parklands; At the Bay a view of Pukerua Bay, and finally a typical agricultural and pleasure fair in A & P Show. It is so undemanding on the listener that you welcome it in a world of dramatic hard-hitting sounds. Lastly the Rock Concerto for piano and orchestra started life as a Rock Sonata back in the 1980’s and was arranged in 2009 for the disc’s soloist, Eugene Albulescu. The New Zealand orchestra, conducted by Uwe Grodd play with enthusiasm in the cause of their national composer.  

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