Nonesuch Records released Grammy Award–winning violinist Gidon Kremer’s De Profundis, featuring the Kremerata Baltica chamber orchestra, on September 14, 2010. The album’s 12 pieces, selected from Kremer’s performing repertoire, all hold very special meaning to him, and are connected to each other on a deep, intuitive level.
The composers, whose works span nearly two centuries, are: Jean Sibelius, Arvo Pärt, Raminta Šerkšnytė (whose piece, De Profundis, lends the album its title), Robert Schumann, Michael Nyman, Franz Schubert, Stevan Kovacs Tickmayer, Dmitri Shostakovich, Lera Auerbach, Astor Piazzolla, Georgs Pelecis, and Alfred Schnittke.
Kremer explains: “The artists featured on this record affirm a deep-rooted personal expression that can resonate within anyone. Their spiritual missive can sustain humans by appealing to their profoundest emotions, by letting them open up, become more conscious, rather than ‘forget themselves.’ Each of the 12 pieces selected for this album sends its own individual message to the listener, one that my colleagues from Kremerata Baltica and I have tried to illuminate.”
Gidon Kremer dedicates De Profundis to all those who refuse to be silenced, “namely to Mikhail Khodorkovsky, who—being a real patriot of Russia—can be seen as a symbol for democratic changes in his home country. Khodorkovsky continues to spend years of imprisonment in Siberia, where he has been sent by a questionable trial.” (Arvo Pärt dedicated his fourth symphony, Los Angeles, to Khodorkovsky as well.)
Kremerata Baltica was founded by Gidon Kremer in 1996 and is composed of a group of young musicians from the three Baltic States. They first performed in the violinist’s hometown of Riga, Latvia, in February 1996 and have since toured throughout the world. Kremer, who is the group’s artistic director, described the Kremerata Baltica, in an interview with the New York Times, as “a musical democracy ... open-minded, self-critical, a continuation of my musical spirit.”
“Kremer inspires his players to deliver hauntingly beautiful accounts...The ingenious allusions to Pergolesi, which forms the thematic framework for Auerbach's Sogno di Stabat Mater, are particularly striking and are projected here with blazing commitment by Kremer and his outstanding orchestra.”
“...the depth of understanding among the members of the Kremerata Baltica creates an intensity that draws you into unfamiliar territory with confidence...it's a tribute to the ensemble's cohesive playing that works as distinct as Schumann's Fugue on B.A.C.H. and Michael Nyman's Trysting Fields appear to be perfect partners.”
“The full extent of Kremer's versatility becomes evident in works that set the visceral and lyrical against one another...it's testimony to Kremer's generous and self-effacing musical character that he should allow the Kremerata Baltica centre stage to showcase their musical prowess rather than his own.”
Click on any of the works listed above for alternative recordings.