PIANO MUSIC CDs: MORNING TO MIDNIGHT and SAN FRANCISCO SOUVENIRS.
 

Welcome to the eclectic world of my piano music. When I was growing up, the two greatest influences in my musical life were the classics of the 19th Century and the pop music of the 1950s and 60s. This led to the development of my classical/popular style of composing, enabling me to move comfortably between writing classical themes and variations, romances and nocturnes to composing rags, blues and other works with more contemporary influences.
 
My two cds of piano music reflect this wide range in style. The first, Morning to Midnight" named after the Suite of pieces that gives the album its name contains a variety of character pieces that reflect not only the varying moods of the day, but of the seasons as well, and tributes to friends, family, places and even cats. The second, San Francisco Souvenirs is a tribute to the locations, people and events that were a part of my life during the many years I lived there.
 
You may download for free, in whole or in part all of the music from my two CDs. However because of the great variety of  mood and style, you may wish to preview individual sound clips before selecting the tracks you wish to download.
 
I'm providing free downloads to better acquaint you with my music and in the hope that some pianists may want  to purchase the sheet music, which is available for a fee on the Sheet Music Page of this web site. Pianists will appreciate that even the most difficult selections were composed to comfortably fit the hand.

Because of the eclectic nature of the music, those wanting single downloads will find the following legend useful in previewing selections:

Predominant Influence (by track number)
Classical: 1,2,4,5,6,10,11,13,14,15,16,17,19,20,24,25
Pop: 12,23
Jazz, Swing and Ragtime: 3,7,8,9,21
Traditional: 18,22

Download each track individually below or the entire collection by clicking here
01 Morning Song
02 Lunch Break
03 Afternoon Doldrums
04 Twilight Aria
05 Midnight Nocturne
06 Passion
07 Taraval Street Rag
08 A Sunny Stroll Through Stern Grove
09 McCoppin Square
10 Sunset Street Lights
11 Ocean Beach 3AM
12 Summer Fog
13 Summer Nocturne
14 Summer's End
15 Autumn
16 Arctic Winter
17 Arctic Spring
18 Prairie Homecoming
19 Romance
20 For Maureen
21 Prelude in Blue
22 For Zadie Giatt
23 Song for Smokey
24 Misty Memories
25 Postlude





 

 

HOLIDAY SEASON SONGS

If you love holiday perennials like "White Christmas" and "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas," you will probably enjoy my Holiday Season Songs. In the 1980s, I co-wrote and produced a successful San Francisco Christmas Review that ran for several years in the Bay Area. The show's title song, "Never a White Christmas," won first prize in a local Christmas Song Contest, and several Bay Area singers including cabaret diva Wesla Whitfield recorded this and other songs from the show, celebrating the holiday spirit in that snow-less city. The Review's show-stopping "Let's Give Thanks," a rare Thanksgiving song written in the Popular idiom, praises those things for which we all can be grateful.


1. Never a White Christmas, Wesla Whitfield, vocals
2. Never a White Christmas, Joyce Luis, vocals
3. Little Babe, Wesla Whitfield, vocals
4. Make Everyday a Chrismas, Wesla Whitfield, vocals
5  Make Everyday a Christmas, Joyce Luis, vocals
6. Light Up the Christmas Tree, Weslas Whitfield, vocals
7. Let's Give Thanks, Shirley Falkner, vocals

 

 

Links to Recordings on the Web to Frank Levin's Music

Frank Levin performances: Three New Gymnopedies

1   https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ilfyzNlUokE  

2  .https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xyCDg0vXzDk 

3. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XFAMYriTRHo 

4. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DsFgfknEx-A

 


Challen Wu Performances: Three New Gymnopedies

1. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Nf6LzmlTbCk

2. tps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZiUwQ4NBcbY   

3. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GK7Eg4bD0ns 

 


Scott Meek and Luke Kim Performance of the Three New Gymnopedies for Cello and Piano

1. https://www.dropbox.com/s/y8kxw2j9r968qfp/Levin%20Gymnopedies.wav?dl=0 

 


Scott Pratt Performances:

1. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xVLRdAD86Mw ( Taraval Street Rag )

2. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xArSmkwRDQI  ( Pier 39 Rag )

 


Student Performance:

1. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tvVTAao1jWI  ( Twilight Reverie )

 


Scott Meek Performances

1. The Three Bagatelles

https://youtu.be/2sbub4aADAE 

https://youtu.be/cBjojQza2ms 

https://youtu.be/UERXHGfW778

The Bagatelle in C was composed in 2010  and The Bagatelles in A and E Minor later, in 2012. All three are light-hearted and tuneful, and in spite of some contempory harmonies, essentially 19th Century Romantic in character. 

The Bagatelle in A begins somewhat darkly in A Minor, and after a songful middle section and brief recapitulation ends joyously in A Major. 

The Bagatelle in C is the longest of the set and contrasts a rhythmic dissonantly-harmonized opening motive with a long, flowing constantly-modulating melody. The work ends with a quiet coda of dissonant chords over a tonic C pedal which finally resolves triumphantly in C Major. 

The Bagatelle in E Minor begins deceptively in C before it moves seamlessly to E Minor. It is perhaps the most beautiful and melodic of the set. The middle section has hints of ragtime and the short rhythmic motive known as the Scottish snap, which gives it an almost folk-like quality. There is a full recapitulation of the opening material followed by a brilliant coda to bring the music and the set of three Bagatelles to a joyous end. 

Frank Levin, September 2018

 

2. Nocturne in E 

https://youtu.be/2lb_eQDMsqg

The piece begins with a gentle lullaby presented as a solo for left hand alone and is followed by several iterations in which the theme is accompanied by increasingly expressive figurations that gradually lead the listener through rest and relaxation to sleep. 

 

3. Grantham's Anthem

https://youtu.be/MnWKNc4iQD0

This deceptively simple jazz tune briefly touches all twelve major keys in its few short measures. It was dedicated to my Jazz Theory Teacher, Jim Grantham and was composed as an aid in learning all 11-V7 chord progressions. Listen a few times and the infectious tune will go through your head for days. It is one of my last San Francisco Souvenirs to be recorded, a set of over thirty piano pieces I composed to celebrate the people, places and even cats of the City. 

 

4. Late Night in the Fillmore 

https://youtu.be/uZ9frQXhPHA

Late Night in the Fillmore, another San Francisco Souvenir was composed in the Phrygian mode, rarely used today but chosen to reflect the fear and anxiety that might be felt by an outsider trapped at night in this often-troubled District of the City. 

 

5. Adam's Apple 

https://youtu.be/Zq4Ufb39-_k

Adam's Apple is a lighthearted tango built on a syncopated motif, given me by my friend, Adam Robertson with the challenge to make something with it. You can decide how well I succeeded. 

 

6. Theme and Variations in F# Minor. 

 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P3yHQNejRGk&feature=youtu.be 

Composed in 2012, this theme and variations is a programmatic work using a similar story to that employed by Sibelius in his Valse Triste, musically portraying a dying person's final thoughts and recollections. It also subtlety references familiar classical works that the listener is likely to know so that even on first hearing the listener can share in the nostalgia experienced by the protagonist. That said the work stands on its own, and even without these program notes, the listener can enjoy a full musical experience. 

Story: 

In the theme the protagonist is introduced, slow, tired and in pain. Variations 1 and 2 return to memories of youth, playfulness and great energy, and 3 remains playful but calmer. The 4th variation evokes reminiscences of a great love. The 5th and 6th variations recall periods of contentment, and life flowing effortlessly, with a subtle reference in the 6th to Saint-Saen's graceful "Aquarium." Variation 7 portrays the onset of disease with its slow tempo and painful dissonances, but in variation 8, nostalgia for better times returns in this light-hearted waltz evoking the dances of Dvorak and Brahms. In variation 9, a manic tarantella signals the return of disease, fever and delirium, and in variation 10, wild and asymmetrical rhythms show the condition worsening. Variation 11 represents a dream of entering the majestic portals of heaven with a grateful song at its core celebrating the end of suffering. But the dream soon fades and in the final Variation 12, the protagonist in bed, once again lucid and at peace prepares for and accepts the arrival of death. 

Frank Levin, Vancouver BC, August, 2019