Glasser – Ring (True Panther Sounds)
As The Met kicked off its 2010 season with a massive, complicated production of Wagner’s Ring Cycle, another “Ring” quietly made its own debut. Clocking in at just under 38 minutes, this Ring is the first full length album from post-pop chanteuse Cameron Mesirow, a.k.a. Glasser. The album is full of lush string arrangements and gritty electronic drums, but the outstanding instrument here is Mesirow’s voice. The second song of the record, originally released as a single, is called Home. Handclaps and cascading marimba provide a bed for the word home as she hiccups and stretches it until the word loses itself to pure sound. A ring is a continuous shape where there is no beginning and no end. Put this album on repeat, and the last track, Clamour, just may point you back to the beginning. "Ring" is the gleaming debut album from Glasser.
Gidon Kremer – De Profundis (Nonesuch Records)
In the wake of the breakup of the Soviet Union, violinist Gidon Kremer celebrated the independence of his native Latvia and the other Baltic republics by forming the Kremerata Baltica, a chamber orchestra that reflects his wide-ranging interests, from Bach to modern composers like this one, Estonia’s Arvo Pärt. Kremer’s new album with his band is called De Profundis, and is full of works that in some way echo the cry of Psalm 130 – “de profundis” or “out of the depths” I cry to you. Kremer describes the album as a collection of artists crying out for a better world. He’s made some eccentric choices though… like English composer Michael Nyman’s “Trysting Fields,” originally from the soundtrack to Peter Greenaway’s “Drowning By Numbers.” De Profundis is about profound emotions, writes Gidon Kremer. But the album is by no means a heavy affair. Works like this one, from Kremer’s Latvian countryman Georgs Pelecis, has a serene, almost Zen-like atmosphere.