Frank Lewin, Composer

Works

Home
 
Biography
 
List of Works
 
Burning Bright
 
Recordings
 
Reflecting on Wagner
 
Contact


Categories of Works:
 
Opera
Solo Vocal Compositions
Choral Compositions
Instrumental Compositions
Theater Music
Historical Outdoor Dramas
Film and Television
Monographs
Publishers


OPERA
 
Gulliver, opera in two acts, with some sections composed by Easley Blackwood and Elliot Kaplan; libretto by Robert Karmon and Louis Phillips. Sopr., tenor, barit., chorus; fl./picc., cl., trpt., hrn., trb., electr. organ, harp, perc., vl., vc., DB; 4-track recorded sections, available from publisher. 2 hrs. First performance by Minnesota Opera Company, 1975.
Publisher: Parga Music

Burning Bright, opera in three acts; libretto by composer, based on the novel and play by John Steinbeck. Sopr., ten., barit., bass; in Act 2, Scene 7: chorus (6, 4, 5, 3); 2, alto/picc., 2, EH, 2, bcl./cbcl. in E_, 3; 4, 3, 3, 1; guitar (electric, acoustic); harp, timp., 2 perc., strings; in Act 1: 14-piece off-stage circus band (recorded); in Act 2: fiddle, piano, 4 handbells on stage; in Act 3: harbor sound effects (recorded). Recorded material available from publisher. First performance, Yale University, 1993. 3 hours.
Publisher: Notevole Music Publishing, Inc.
Recording: Albany Records, Troy 469-71


SOLO VOCAL COMPOSITIONS
 

 
Shall I Compare Thee (Sonnet XVIII) (William Shakespeare), for medium voice and piano, 1949. 5 min.
Publisher: Parga Music

A Dutch Lullaby (Eugene Field), for medium voice and piano (or harp), 1952. 4 min.
Publisher: Parga Music

Innocence and Experience, cycle on poems by William Blake, for soprano and chamber ensemble: fl., ob., hrn., hrp., 2 vl., vla., 2 vc. Commissioned by Friends of Music at Yale; first performance 1961, with Helen Boatwright as soloist, Keith Wilson conducting. 27 min.
Publisher: Parga Music
Recording: Albany Records, Troy 528

Variations of Greek Themes, cycle on poems by Edwin Arlington Robinson, for mezzo-soprano, flute, viola, harp, and piano. Commissioned by The Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center; first performance 1977 at Alice Tully Hall, with Maureen Forrester. 28 min.
Publisher: American Composers Alliance
Recording: Albany Records, Troy 528

A Musical Nashery, cycle on poems by Ogden Nash, for medium voice and piano. Commissioned by Naomi Lewin; first performance, Yale School of Music, 1980. 7 min.
Publisher: Parga Music
Recording: Albany Records, Troy 528

Wedding Music, settings of lines from Song of Songs, for medium voice and string quartet (or organ); first performance, Princeton, New Jersey, 1981, with Naomi Lewin. 15 min.
Publisher: Parga Music

Phoenix, setting of the poem "Metric Figure" by William Carlos Williams, for soprano and piano. First performance, Princeton, New Jersey, 1993, with Judith Nicosia. 3 min.
Publisher: Parga Music

She Walks in Beauty (George Gordon, Lord Byron), for three women's voices and organ; first performance, Killington, Vermont, 1994. 6 min.
Publisher: Parga Music


CHORAL COMPOSITIONS
 
Psalm 121, for mixed chorus, a cappella. 1942. 4 min.
Publisher: Parga Music
Recording: Albany Records, Troy 769

Psalm 148, for mixed chorus, alto solo, and organ, 1949. 8 min.
Publisher: Parga Music
Recording: Albany Records, Troy 769

Psalm 137, for mixed chorus and orchestra (2,2,2,2; 4,3,3,1; timp.; 2 perc., strings), 1956. 13 min.
Publisher: Parga Music
Recording: Albany Records, Troy 769

Seasons, cantata on poems by Thomas Nashe, for girls' voices, baritone solo, and chamber orchestra (3 fl., ob., hrn., 2 trpt., piano, drum, strings). Commissioned by Miss Fine's School, Princeton, New Jersey; first performance 1962, with Fadlou Shehadi as soloist. 27 min.
Publisher: Parga Music

Behold, How Good, setting of Psalms 133 and 134, for mixed chorus and piano. For dedication of Princeton Jewish Center, 1959. 5 min.
Recording: Albany Records, Troy 769
Publisher: Parga Music

Music for the White House, cantata for chorus, soprano, tenor, baritone solos, and band instruments 2,2,2, bcl.,1; 2,2,2,1; timp., 2 perc., guitar, DB; in some sections: solo violin, ophicleide, post-horn. Requested by Mrs. Lyndon B. Johnson; first performance conducted by composer, at The White House, 1965. 30 min.
Publisher: Parga Music

Requiem for Robert F. Kennedy (Mass for the Dead, in English), for chorus, soprano, tenor, and baritone solos, organ, flute; brass instruments ad lib. Commissioned by the Aquinas Foundation of Princeton University; first performance during memorial service for Robert F. Kennedy at Princeton University Chapel, 1969. 36 min.

Lewin has written: "The impetus for writing this Mass for the Dead came as I stood on the platform at Princeton Junction, amid a crowd of silent onlookers, as the train bearing the body of Robert F. Kennedy slowly rolled by on its way from New York to Washington. Vatican Council II had recently decreed that services were to be conducted in the vernacular, and thus this requiem mass was set to English words."

The Lord's Prayer from the Requiem is available separately, arranged for either keyboard and solo voice, or keyboard and SATB chorus.
Publisher: American Composers Alliance
Recording: Albany Records, Troy 769

Light Footfall, a setting of "The Cap and Bells" by William Butler Yeats, for SATB chorus, violin, and marimba. Commissioned and first performed by VOICES, conducted by Lynn Ransom, 1996. 7 min.
Publisher: Parga Music


INSTRUMENTAL COMPOSITIONS
 
Dunlap's Creek, chorale prelude for organ and English horn obbligato; first performance by E. Power Biggs, 1953. 6 min.
Publisher: Parga Music

Evocation, tone poem commissioned by Princeton Symphony Orchestra to celebrate its tenth anniversary; first performance 1960, conducted by Nicholas Harsanyi. 2,2,2,2; 2,3; timp., perc.; strings. 13 min.
Publisher: Parga Music

Concerto Armonico (for viola or harmonica and orchestra; originally known as Concerto for Harmonica and Orchestra), 1960. 3,2,EH,2,bcl.,2,cbn.; 4,3,3,1; timp., 2 perc., cel., hrp., strings. 28 min.
Publisher: Notevole Music Publishing, Inc
Recording: Albany Records, Troy 983.

Concerto on Silesian Tunes, for viola and orchestra. Commissioned by David Schwartz, who gave the first performance, in 1965, at the Yale Summer School of Music and Art, Norfolk, Connecticut, conducted by Gustav Meier. 2,2,2,2; 2 hrns.; timp., 2 perc.; cel., hrp.; strings. 20 min.
Publisher: Notevole Music Publishing, Inc

Music for the New Family of Violins Music written for the eight instruments designed and built by Carleen M. Hutchins.
- Two Movements from the mass L'hommé arme by Palestrina, 1965. 4 min.
- Introduction on a Psalm Tune, 1971. 4 min.
- Dramatic Suite for New Violins, 1965. 13 min.
Publisher: Parga Music
Recording: New Family of Violins, NVFA-2004-2


THEATER MUSIC
 
Songs and incidental music for various combinations of voices and instruments. All scores were recorded for use in the theater, except for A Midsummer Night's Dream and Streets of Gold, which were performed live.
Publisher: Demeter Music, Inc.

The Trojan War Will Not Take Place (Jean Giraudoux), Princeton Community Players, 1952.

Theater of the Soul (Nicolai Evreinov), Princeton University Players, 1953.

Summer and Smoke (Tennessee Williams), Princeton Community Players, 1954.

The Tempest (William Shakespeare), Princeton Theatre Intime, 1955.

Knight of the Burning Pestle (Beaumont and Fletcher), Princeton Theatre Intime, 1955.

Twelfth Night (William Shakespeare), Princeton University Players, 1956.

Taming of the Shrew (William Shakespeare), Princeton University Players, 1957.

Blood Wedding (Federico Garc’a Lorca), Princeton University Players, 1957.

As You Like It (William Shakespeare), Princeton University Players, 1957.

A Midsummer Night's Dream (William Shakespeare), King Coit Children's Theater, New York, NY, 1958.

Thieves' Carnival (Jean Anouilh), Princeton University Players, 1958.

Leonce and Lena (Georg Bźchner), Harpur College Colonial Players, Binghamton, New York, 1958.

The Tempest (William Shakespeare), McCarter Theatre, Princeton, New Jersey, 1967.

Caesar at the Rubicon (Theodore H. White), world premiere, McCarter Theatre, Princeton, New Jersey, 1971.

Streets of Gold (Tom DeTitta), world premiere, Uniontown, Pennsylvania, 1992.


HISTORICAL OUTDOOR DRAMAS
 
Historical outdoor drama--a uniquely American form of theater--was born when Paul Green's The Lost Colony began its run in Manteo, North Carolina, in 1937. By the time this play celebrated its sixtieth year in 1997, more than fifty outdoor dramas were being produced all over the country. Each runs during the summer months in a theater built especially for that play; each brings to life events and persons in American history that are linked to that particular location.

This form of theater shares several characteristics with ancient Greek theater: performances under the open sky, an audience of ordinary citizens rather than an elite, and subject matter that deals with the history and myths of the people. In an outdoor drama, speech, music, and dance combine to create an impressive spectacle. Many of the theaters use the latest in lighting and sound technology. For additional information, visit the Institute of Outdoor Drama website.

All scores were recorded and played back over quadraphonic sound systems.
Publisher: Parga Music

Several of the scores have been issued as CD's by Demeter Music in a series called "Music for America's Past."

Beyond the Sundown (Kermit Hunter)
Woodville, Texas 1975-83
Recording: Demeter Music, "Music for America's Past" Volume 5, Demeter 115

This historical drama by Kermit Hunter was presented on the Alabama-Coushatta Reservation in Texas. It tells the story of how young braves resist the counsel of their elders, and join Sam Houston to fight for Texas' independence. The sound and pulse of drums permeates the score, in symphonic passages as well as ceremonial scenes. Several melodies traditional to the Alabama, and tunes inspired by their music, are included in the score.

The McIntosh Trail (Kermit Hunter)
Peachtree City, Georgia, 1976

The story of a Cherokee chief whose partly Scottish ancestry brings him into conflict with his tribe. The score includes a number of bagpipe tunes, which were recorded by a piper band in Atlanta.

Dust on her Petticoats (Kermit Hunter)
Tulsa, Oklahoma, 1976-79
Recording: Demeter Music, "Music for America's Past" Volume 4, Demeter 114

The story of Althea Randall, the daughter of a Christian missionary, who in 1885 sees her Cherokee sweetheart killed in a sawmill explosion. She devotes her life to the building of Oklahoma and the social problems of her time, and eventually goes to Congress as the first woman elected to the House of Representatives. The score includes popular tunes of Althea's time, and draws on authentic Cherokee sources. The prayers after Althea's sweetheart dies are sung in Cherokee by the late Reverend Jonas Partridge.

Hernando DeSoto, Conquistador (Kermit Hunter)
Hot Springs, Arkansas, 1976-80
Recording: Demeter Music, "Music for America's Past" Volume 3, Demeter 113

Hernando DeSoto's progress through southeastern North America in his long and harrowing search for gold. The score, by turns rousing and ominous, is based on music from sixteenth-century Spain.

Blue Jacket (W. L. Mundell)
Xenia, Ohio, 1982-93

The story of a seventeen-year old youth who is captured and adopted by the Shawnee in the late 1700's. Given the name Blue Jacket, he becomes War Chief of the Shawnee Nation. Juxtaposing Indian drums with military field drums, the music closely follows the dramatic turns of the story.

Josiah (R.L. Mundell)
1993

The story of Josiah Henson, an escaped slave on whom the novel Uncle Tom's Cabin is said to be based.

Trumpet in the Land (Paul Green)
New Philadelphia, Ohio, 1984-
Recording: Demeter Music, "Music for America's Past" Volume 1, Demeter 111

Moravian settlers in eighteenth-century Ohio, and the Native Americans whom they convert to their faith. Songs of the period and Moravian hymns are woven into the score.

The White Savage (Joseph Bonamico and Mark Durbin)
New Philadelphia, Ohio, 1997-
Recording: Demeter Music, "Music for America's Past" Volume 2, Demeter 112

The story of Simon Girty, who was captured as a child by Seneca tribesmen and raised as one of them. The strongly rhythmic music features a colorful variety of tribal and military drums.


FILM AND TELEVISION
 
Four theatrical feature films, including The Plot Against Harry directed by Michael Roemer (New York Film Festival, 1989).
Publisher: Bluepoint Productions

Over twenty-five documentary films, including A Year Toward Tomorrow for VISTA, which received Academy Award, 1967.
Publisher: Demeter Music, Inc.

Numerous dramatic and documentary television programs, including 132 hour-long films in the series The Defenders and The Nurses.
Publisher: Demeter Music, Inc.

Commercials, exhibits.
Publisher: Demeter Music, Inc.


MONOGRAPHS
 
The Soundtrack in Nontheatrical Motion Pictures. Society of Motion Picture Engineers, 1958.

Man and His Sound--Expo 67. Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers, 1968.

Burning Bright, The Genesis of an Opera, Lyrica Society, 1985.

The Music of Language in a Passage from Tannhäuser, Ars Lyrica, Journal of the Lyrica Society for Word-Music Relations, Volume XIII, 2003.

Articles and columns on music and sound, and reviews of opera productions, in various periodicals.


PUBLISHERS (all BMI)
 
American Composers Alliance (ACA), 684 Broadway, Room 803, New York, NY 10012, 212 362-8900, fax 212 924-0458, www.composers.com

Demeter Music, Inc., Parga Music, Bluepoint Productions, all at 113 Magnolia Lane, Princeton, NJ 08540, demetermus@aol.com

Notevole Music Publishing, Inc., 60 Depot Street, Verona, NJ 07044, 973 857-3490, fax 973-857-3442, www.subitomusic.com