Founded in Munich by producer Manfred Eicher in 1969, ECM has recorded more than 1000 albums spanning many idioms. Establishing an early reputation with standard-setting jazz and improvised music albums – by Keith Jarrett, Paul Bley, Jan Garbarek, Chick Corea, Pat Metheny, the Art Ensemble of Chicago and others – ECM began to include contemporary composition in its programme in the late 1970s. In 1984 a sister label, ECM New Series, was launched to introduce the music of Arvo Pärt with the aptly-titled “Tabula rasa”. Other featured composers include György Kurtág, Valentin Silvestrov, Tigran Mansurian, Erkki-Sven Tüür, Heinz Holliger, Giya Kancheli, Meredith Monk, and Heiner Goebbels.
Further Reading: ECM
For his third recording of the Suites, the Dutch cellist tunes his instrument down by a whole tone to the pitch which was commonly used in Cöthen where Bach composed the works, whilst Schiff’s second take on The Well-Tempered Clavier is more direct and less sentimental than its predecessor.
In response to its frequent use in television and film, Chris ponders the Estonian composer’s 1978 composition ‘mirror/s in the mirror’ and alights upon a favourite recording.