One of the many musical blessings I have received over the decades is the music distributed by Manfred Eicher and ECM Records. The label goes beyond innovation with its rich tapestry of artists, compositions and sounds. I wish I could own the entire library that ECM has produced and made available.
The great Estonian composer Arvo Pärt celebrates his 80th birthday today, Friday September 11th. And on this occasion, ECM releases a special double album, Musica Selecta: A Sequence by Manfred Eicher.
Happy Birthday Arvo.
Composer Arvo Pärt and producer Manfred Eicher have maintained their creative partnership for more than thirty years. Eicher launched ECM New Series in 1984 as a platform for Pärt’s music, bringing the Estonian composer to the world’s attention with Tabula Rasa. Since that epochal release, all first recordings of Pärt’s major works have been made for ECM, with the composer’s committed participation. In this special double album, issued on Pärt’s birthday, Eicher revisits episodes from their shared musical quest, evoking fresh associations from juxtapositions of pieces in his dramaturgical sequence, as we are invited to hear the music anew.
Compositions heard here include the legendary ECM premiere recordings of Es sang vor langen Jahren, Für Alina, Mein Weg, Kanon Pokajanen, Silouans Song, Fratres, Alleluia-Tropus, Trisagion, Beatus Petronius, Wallfahrtslied/Pilgrims‘ Song, Cantus in Memory of Benjamin Britten, Magnificat, Festina Lente, Lamentate, Stabat Mater, Da Pacem Domine, and a previously unreleased version of Most Holy Mother of God.