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Stephen Estep
American Record Guide, July 2015

McHale plays well, and the sound is fine. © 2015 American Record Guide Read complete review on American Record Guide



Jim Svejda
Fanfare, July 2015

It would be hard to over-praise the power, subtlety, wit and finesse of Michael McHale’s playing—as it is clearly that of one of the finest pianists of his generation—and it contributes immeasurably to one of the most individual, entertaining, endlessly fascinating piano albums of the year. © 2015 Fanfare Read complete review



Hubert Culot
MusicWeb International, June 2015

I have listened repeatedly to this most enjoyable release for pleasure’s sake for this is a really quite attractive disc. Some, I am sure, would make superb encores… © 2015 MusicWeb International Read complete review



Burkhard Schäfer
Piano News, May 2015

What a great and in the best sense of the word entertaining and diverting CD! © 2015 Piano News



Terry Blain
Culture Northern Ireland, January 2015

…these are definitive performances: the verve and élan that McHale brings to his playing are invigorating, but there is poise and sophistication too, and a sense that he has totally understood and assimilated what Hammond is aiming at in his expansion and amplification of these tunes…

In McHale, Hammond has, quite simply, been blessed to find his own ideal interpreter. © 2015 Culture Northern Ireland Read complete review



David Denton
David's Review Corner, January 2015

In 1792 a nineteen-year-old Irish musician, Edward Bunting, wrote down the melodies that he had heard at the Belfast Harp Festival in three large volumes. From more than three hundred tunes that he had carefully noteated we have a comprehensive compendium of Irish folk melody at that time. Now the Irish composer, Philip Hammond, has taken twenty-one and clothed them in a modern garb. Describing Bunting’s participation as the ‘Miniature’ and his own work as the ‘Modulations’, he uses a similar format throughout with the original tune stated at the beginning before his own work begins. Maybe he is asking the listener also to guess the composer who has inspired his participation. It would not be difficult to name Chopin, Debussy, Prokofiev, Messiaen and Bartók, this mix of styles adding greatly to our enjoyment in a work that is readily attractive as it flirts with atonality in between his obvious affinity with tonality. Bunting’s original mixed dances and songs both happy and sad, and you might find many titles at odds with the music, and I guess in the international market few of his tunes will be known. I guess they are doubly fortunate in having Michael McHale as the performer, for he is a very beautiful and limpid exponent, his background of a major competition winner and concert artist, on both sides of the Atlantic, placing him among the most talented and outstanding of the younger generation. The sound quality from Ireland is in the premiere league. Unusual and hugely recommended. © 2015 David’s Review Corner




Terry Blain
BBC Music Magazine

Tunes noted by Edward Bunting at the Belfast Harp Festival of 1792, given fresh range and resonance in Philip Hammond’s re-imagined treatments. McHale plays them with great verve and alacrity. © 2015 BBC Music Magazine





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