MP3 Frank Levin/Scott Pratt - Morning To Midnight
If Chopin took lessons from George Gershwin and Billy Joel, the music would sound like Frank Levin.
25 MP3 Songs
CLASSICAL: Traditional, EASY LISTENING: Mature
Levin is a contemporary composer of dozens of songs, piano and small ensemble pieces, and has come up with his first CD, a retrospective of some of the best of his piano music, beautifully performed by award-winning pianist Scott Pratt. The CD, entitled "Morning to Midnight", includes the suite by that name, six pieces from Frank''s "San Francisco Souvenirs", a seasonal cycle, and a variety of other works, including several dedicated to students, family, and friends.
Response to the CD has been overwhelmingly positive from the many fans who have already purchased it. "I love it. I play it in the car and in the office. It''s like being on vacation," said Nellie Keate, a realtor who bought the CD and then came back to purchase several more for friends and family. Singer and songwriter Andrew Kelsey, who attended the CD release party in San Francisco where composer and pianist live, was full of praise, "Fabulous, Frank!" he wrote in the guest book. Christine Ho, one of Frank''s piano students, was not surprised at the positive reception: "I''ve played a number of works on the CD...and really enjoyed them."
Dick Wahlberg, recording engineer for the project, was full of praise for Scott''s contribution. "Every take was an honest performance," he said to a reporter.
"There is not one throw-away track among the twenty five, and every performance is definitive," said Levin. "We recorded slowly over a two year period-no more than three or four tracks at a session-and Scott rehearsed each selection with me several times before entering the studio to ensure every nuance was perfect. Even the eye-catching accompanying booklet was custom crafted with text and images meticulously coordinated. It''s a class act down to the last detail."
Levin''s tuneful, accessible style of writing has gained him considerable acclaim over the years. His teaching music for piano won prizes in contests sponsored by the music teachers association of California and resulted in many performances at convention and in recital. Frank also has publishing contracts with a number of industry leaders, including Schaum, Willis, Mel bay, and the Boston music company.
The noted cabaret artist Weslia Whitfield, who sang for the president in a command performance at the White House and regularly plays San Francisco''s prestigious plush room and the equally legendary algonquin room in New York, is among his admirers. Weslia recorded four songs from his long-running musical revue "Never a White Christmas", celebrating the holidays in snowless San Francisco. Her performance of the title song won her a first prize in an original christmas song contest and gained Frank a recording contract.
Frank received much of his formal training at the San Francisco Conservatory, where he studied with Dr. Sol Joseph, Nathan Schwartz, and the now-famous composer John Adams. In addition, he took jazz theory classes with the local luminary in that field, Jim Grantham, and songwriting and arranging with the highly successful film composer, Gary Remal.
Scott Pratt, a California native, has performed throughout California and much of the United States. He is a frequent solo and chamber recitalist in San Francisco and the bay area, and is on the piano faculty of the San Francisco Conservatory of Music preparatory division. Scott has received top prizes in many competitions, including the national guild of piano teachers international recording competition, the La Jolla Civic Symphony competition, and several categories of the San Francisco concerto orchestra competition.
In commenting about his work on this CD, Scott observed, "I enjoy playing Frank''s music because it is expressive, well constructed, pianistic, and accessible to audiences. I believe it should be more widely known, and hopefully this CD will help expand his reputation."
The following are excerpts from letters, phone messages, and the CD release party guest book:
1. "I''ve been enjoying your CD very much. It is charming and well done - nice performances, production and pieces. Congratulations." Tod Brody, San Francisco Chapter Director, American Composers Forum.
2. If you are interested in some very nice, melodic (piano) pieces that are fun to play, you might try Frank Levin. David Reffkin, Radio Host KUSF "Ragtime Machine".
3. "Wow! You should be tremendously proud of your CD. I am particularily drawn to three of your pieces: Sunset Streetlights, Summer Fog and Autumn - they evoke so much pleasurable imagery for me." Steve Carnine, teacher.
4. "I have listened quite a bit to your CD. It impresses me. Several of the piano pieces (those of a similar style) are as good as Percy Grainer. In another I enjoy, I hear Ravel. The Prairie Homecoming, so tuneful, has to be one of my favorites. The Taraval Street Rag is also a great piece, one that must rank with the best of that genre, as well as being plain fun." Bill Harmer.
5. "There is a certain subtlty about this music that can grab you, involve you. It is friendly and warm - but not too cutesy." Steve Yuan, pianist and guitarist.
6. "At the moment, my favorites are Twilight Aria and Taraval Street Rag." Lillian Laakso, retired symphony violinist.
7. "The music is simply wonderful and the titles just fit every tune that you have written." Frances Theodore.
8. Enjoying your CD. It''s like having in my living room. I love the cover with the cat. It''s so original. Lesley Cramer.
9. "The pianist seems to have a real feel for the mood of each work." Peter Wershof, pianist.
10. "Congratulations. It has been a monumental project and I am so happy and proud that you got this done. It''s a wonderful work." George Lynch, CD sound engineer.
11. "Listening to your lovely tunes is a great way to start the day." Tom Keylon.
For more about Frank, including his publications, check his website https://www.tradebit.com. e-mail directly to frank@https://www.tradebit.com.