December 5, 2015
Slatkin’s composition Kinah is an elegy to his late parents, famed musicians Felix Slatkin and Eleanor Aller of the renowned Hollywood String Quartet. On February 6, 1963, the pair rehearsed the Brahms Double Concerto for a concert that was scheduled later that week. Tragically, Felix Slatkin died of a heart attack before the performance could take place. He was 47.
The Brahms Double Concerto plays an important role in Slatkin’s piece, which features a distant violin and cello playing the first few passages of Brahms’s slow movement without ever completing a phrase. In a moment the Detroit Free Press characterized as having “special poignancy,” Slatkin’s brother, Frederick Zlotkin, played the offstage solos on the cello that once belonged to their mother. ClassicalSource.com described the work as “music that is very personal but also with a powerful outreach.”