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December 20 , 2013

Charts, hymns and recommendations

ECM is referenced in a number of year-end round-ups in diverse media.

In the New York Times the Keller Quartet’s account of Ligeti and Barber is a Times Critics’ Classical Favourite of 2013. “There is an over-the-top quality to Ligeti’s string quartets that is irresistible, but that also demands complete concentration to absorb. For most composers one original idea per movement is plenty: Ligeti’s quartets are brimming over with them, by turns dark, playful or grotesque – and the members of the Keller Quartett play every note like their sanity depends on it. You wouldn’t think Barber’s luscious ‘Adagio” needed an advocate but here it’s played with an intensity bordering on desperation that reveals a new, urgent, side.” (http://nyti.ms/J29kzl)

In the Los Angeles Times an ECM box set heads a list of Musical Gifts for Classical Lovers: “Selected Signs III-VIII: This strange title for an arty white box holding six CDs of sophisticated selections is taken from an exhibition in Munich, Germany. Musically, it consists of a compilation of selections from the ECM label that are heavily weighted toward spiritual Eastern European minimalism and spiritually minimalist Western jazz as an aural environment continuing hour after enthralling hour.” (http://lat.ms/1cerR7N)

In the US National Public Radio Jazz Critics Poll, polling the votes of 137 critics, ECM took 5 of the Top 12 places with albums by Craig Taborn Trio, Charles Lloyd/Jason Moran, Tim Berne’s Snakeoil, Chris Potter, and Keith Jarrett/Gary Peacock and Jack DeJohnette. Old & New Masters box sets by DeJohnette’s Special Edition and by Paul Motian also placed in NPR’s Reissue Top 10. (http://n.pr/1cR8MqE)

On weblog AltoRiot, Dobrinka Tabakova’s String Paths is Contemporary Compositional Record of the Year: “As the year closes, String Paths is actually stealing everyone’s else spotlight and providing a long standing testament to the potential of Tabakova’s brilliance. String Paths is a record of revelation beyond the years of its young composer and one that will set the precedent by which all future contemporary classical recordings will be judged by.” (http://bit.ly/1cR3vQ7)