As we come to the end of this decade, which has taken place in less than one year, it seems like a good idea to take stock of what has been accomplished during a time when it has felt like we could do nothing. Many of us have had to find opportunities where none seemed to exist, and perhaps some of us will come out of 2020 a little wiser.
Being a conductor was not the best profession during the self-imposed and sometimes-mandated lockdown period. The instrumental and vocal artists could at least practice. What was I supposed to do—stand up and wave my arms? After a few weeks of cancellations, I realized that looking over the scores meant to be rehearsed and performed in the near future was a futile exercise. Instead, I would go down to my library and peruse pieces that I either have never conducted or might want to revisit at some time.
For your listening pleasure this holiday season, I am happy to share Inspired Themes from the Inspired Films, an album arranged and conducted by my father, Felix Slatkin, in 1962. The recording features twelve tracks from the great biblical epics. On one of them, my parents are the violin and cello soloists, marking the only time they ever performed a duet for a commercial release.