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ASPIRATIONS: Piano Music by Marcus Blunt

Marcus Blunt was inspired by Shaw's Man and Superman to express in music a positive and purposeful philosophy of life. His Sonata No. 3 (The Life Force) was the result. Throughout his music one finds influences from Scarlatti (classical structure and counterpoint) to Scriabin (rich luxuriant romanticism). His music reflects places and people to a large degree, so many pieces are pictures in sound. This is a fine anthology of works brilliantly played by Murray McLachlan and should help to give Marcus Blunt's music its proper place amongst the finest of modern piano repertoire. His orchestral, chamber and instrumental works have also been performed and broadcast worldwide to great acclaim.

Originally on limited release as Dunelm DRD0269, now available worldwide in our Diversions Dunelm Series.


AUDIO SAMPLE: Sonata No. 3(extract)






Piano Sonata no. 1
Piano Sonata no. 2
Piano Sonata no. 3 (The Life Force)
Seven Preludes
Iona Caprice
Iona Prelude
Three Nocturnes
Three Fantasies
Prelude on a Fugue Theme of J.S. Bach

review extracts: for full reviews click here

“Blunt displays a fertile imagination and is served in exemplary fashion by the indefatigable Murray McLachlan. Magical performance… A fascinating introduction to a composer whose music deserves wider currency; recommended. Colin Clarke (Fanfare)

“Works of real depth and substance ... brilliantly played by McLachlan. Blunt is extremely lucky in his pianist Murray McLachlan who does so much to bring out all the beauties and attractions of these works. The recording is excellent and there are booklet notes by the composer.” – The Classical Reviewer

“A most enjoyable recital , attractively recorded and played with typical sensitivity by a pianist fully in sympathy with the music's demands and nature-mystic moments.” – Jonathan Woolf (MusicWeb, on original Dunelm release)

“The music of Marcus Blunt inhabits a comfortable harmonic space ranging from freely modal to a controlled, contrapuntal chromaticism. There are a handful of quite rewarding pieces here – especially the balanced, thoughtful Sonata No. 2.” - Ryan Vigil (American Record Guide)

“The music is not quite romantic… the mode is often chromatic with definite tonality. Blunt works within an extended palette that … goes its own way in a rhapsodic, mostly quietly reflective manner. Murray McLachlan brings out the nuances and mood of the pieces nicely, It is recommended for those who want something refreshed yet familiar somehow. Good music!” – Grego Edwards (Gapplegate Classical Modern Music)

“The Third Sonata is a lovely work, finely constructed. The three Nocturnes are each beautiful and are each identifiable night music.” – Colin Clarke (Tempo, on original Dunelm release)

“The composer's fascination with Scriabin, especially his later style, is very evident. Blunt is a superb miniaturist, adept at capturing a mood or atmosphere in very concise forms, as in the Scotland-inspired Iona pieces, the relaxed and warm Malta Nocturne, or the various ingeniously constructed pieces based on 'musical monograms'.” – Unnamed reviewer (Records International)

“Marcus Blunt (b. 1947) is a tonal composer combining lyrical neo-Romanticism with the harmonic palette of early 20th-century modernism. His music is characterized by ambiguous harmonies, quiet dynamics, lush searching chromaticism, and a reflective attitude. Scriabin fans need not hesitate with this one. Otherwise, if you like quiet and mystical piano music in the vein of Messiaen, Feldman, Scelsi, or some of the starker German expressionists, you'll probably appreciate Blunt's music.” (four stars awarded)- ‘Hexameron' (Amazon USA)


“In his piano music [Blunt] eschews the theatrical, the complex and avant-garde, instead cultivating a style that is highly original and personal, one that has attracted the attention of some of Britain's most distinguished pianists including Kathryn Stott and Murray Maclachlan, the pianist on this recording. While many of the pieces on the recording are brief, perhaps leaving one wanting more, our "aspirations" demanding fulfillment will likely cause us to hit the repeat button, and enjoy the fascinating ride once again. An album highly recommended for thoughtful listeners who will enjoy exploring new and attractive harmonic worlds.” - Matthew Bengtson, pianist (Amazon)

“Marcus Blunt is a talented English composer who deserves greater recognition. This collection of his compositions for piano [is] sensitively performed by Murray McLachlan Highly recommended.” – Colin Stanley

“From personal experience, I would class the British composer, Marcus Blunt, as very much a musician's composer, not only a delight to play, but also to listen to.” – ‘FarmersgirlCook'

“This is a most satisfying CD from a significant, although unjustly lesser-known, composer. I strongly recommend it.” – Derek Foster, pianist