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August 26 , 2014

ECM releases new Mastered for iTunes recordings

From today, ECM recordings will be available Mastered for iTunes for all jazz and classical music fans globally on iTunes. Manfred Eicher supervised the remastering of the first group of fifteen titles – a cross-section of albums addressing composition and improvisation in diverse and creative ways - all of them recorded with the clarity and attention to musical and sonic detail which has been an ECM hallmark since the inception of the label in 1969.

Eicher said of the process: “For the digital domain, the Mastered for iTunes format with its higher resolution makes it possible to get closer to the original production for each of the respective albums. With each mastering we’ve gone back to original sources. It was especially interesting, on the early titles, to work from the old analog sources and see what it is possible to reveal in the 24-bit medium. It is a great relief not to be limited by the digital compression of old and to discover the air, an essential component, in the music again.”

The ECM Mastered for iTunes launch coincides with the 30th anniversary of ECM New Series, the classical sub label introduced by Eicher in 1984 to present Arvo Pärt’s “Tabula Rasa”. Pärt’s epochal album, with Gidon Kremer and Keith Jarrett amongst the interpreters, is in the first group of remastered titles. Other New Series albums in the launch include András Schiff’s definitive account of the Goldberg Variations, Kim Kashkashian’s Grammy-winning solo viola exploration of Kurtág and Ligeti, Steve Reich’s “Octet/Music for a Large Ensemble/Violin Phase”, one of the acknowledged classics of Minimalism, and the Hilliard Ensemble and Jan Garbarek’s century-spanning “Officium Novum”.

Saxophonist Garbarek appears also on “Sleeper”, a volcanic concert recording from Keith Jarrett’s ‘European Quartet’ and on another historic release, “Carta de Amor”, by the trio Magico, with guitarist-pianist Egberto Gismonti and the late, great bassist Charlie Haden. Amongst the jazz and improvised releases in the MfiT group are Chick Corea’s buoyant Latin-flavoured “Return To Forever” from 1972, Tord Gustavsen’s “Extended Circle”, and albums that defy classification such as Tunisian oud master Anouar Brahem’s “The Astounding Eyes of Rita” which pools Western and Middle Eastern influence, and Vijay Iyer’s “Mutations”, juxtaposing composed and improvised elements in an homage to metamorphosis with piano, string quartet and electronics.

The first ECM/Mastered for iTunes group also includes two brand-new releases. “Moderato Cantabile” by cellist Anja Lechner and pianist Franҫois Couturier features imaginative approaches to the works of outsider composers Gurdjieff, Komitas and Mompou. In jazz, “Lathe of Heaven” introduces Mark Turner’s exciting quartet with Avishai Cohen, Joe Martin and Marcus Gilmore.

Going forward, ECM plans to issue all its new releases in Mastered for iTunes format wherever possible. A further group of archival and deep catalogue recordings will be issued in October.

For more information on Mastered for iTunes, please click here: Apple.com

To visit the dedicated ECM room on iTunes, please click here: iTunes.com/ecmrecords