The cover image for Grammy Award-winning violinist Gidon Kremer's 'De Profundis' is drawn from a powerful series of photographs called 'Soul Of Fuel' by Alexandrea Kremer-Khomassouridze that hauntingly depicts the places where oil deposits lie beneath the surface and the often ravaged-looking industrial plants in the former Soviet Union where oil is processed. All-too-timely thoughts about oil - our appetite for it and the power and taste for tyranny it can convey on those around the world who control it - were on Kremer's mind as he selected this 12-track set, which includes pieces from a wide range of composers representing the 18th to the 21st centuries, from Franz Schubert to Astor Piazzolla, Dimitri Shostakovich to Michael Nyman. To Kremer, the works are linked to each other in a profound spiritual way that is almost indescribable.
'De Profundis' - its title taken from a 1998 piece by the young Lithuanian composer Raminta Serksnyte featured on the album - is designed to be, as Kremer puts it in his notes, 'fuel for the soul,' drawing from a deep artistic and emotional well. The composers, whose works span nearly two centuries, are: Jean Sibelius, Arvo Part, Raminta Serksnyte (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 writes of them, 'Out of the depths' these artists cry out for a better world... Their spiritual missive, like oil, can sustain humans by appealing to their profoundest emotions, by letting them open up, 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.'
The album also features the youthful Kremerata Baltica, the chamber ensemble of fellow Latvian musicians he founded. Kremer's 2009 Nonesuch release with Kremerata Baltica was the acclaimed two-disc 'Mozart: The Complete Violin Concertos,' which BBC Music Magazine, in a five-star review, called 'an altogether impressive achievement.' The New York Times concurred: 'Gidon Kremer's great interpretative strength has always been his ability to make a work, however familiar, entirely his own.'
Kremer and Kremerata Baltica will perform selections from 'De Profundis' on their 2010-11 tour, which will include visits to most major American markets. Regarding the ensemble's interpretative powers, the Los Angeles Times has declared, 'They are utterly alive to the possibilities in the scores. They make every detail stand out; they play with an overpowering sense of joy... and they are deep.'