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Symphonic poems, other works for orch.

Busoni, Ferruccio (1866 - 1924) | Franck, César (1822 - 1890) | Kuula, Toivo (1883 - 1918) | Levin, Ira (1958 - ) | Liszt, Franz (1811 - 1886) | Marttinen, Tauno (1912 - 2008) | Mielck, Ernst (1877 - 1899) | Rachmaninoff, Sergei (1873 - 1943) | Reger, Max (1873 - 1916) | Respighi, Ottorino (1879 - 1936) | Saari, Jouko (1944 - )

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Fantasia contrappuntistica after Bach

 

Fantasia contrappuntistica after Bach | more info
Duration 27-28'00'' 74 pages

Orchestration by Ira Levin

*3333/4321/Bass Drum/Harp/Celesta/Strings

 

 


Symphony in f-minor

 

Symphony in f-minor | more info
an Orchestration of the Piano Quintet by Ira Levin

Duration 38'00-40'00'' 156 pages

*3*3*3*3/4231/1/Strings

I Molto moderato quasi lento
II Lento, con molto sentimento
III Allegro non troppo ma con fuoco


Cesar Franck’s Piano Quintet has long been part of the standard chamber music repertoire, beloved by audiences and performers worldwide. However, it has often been criticized for overstepping the bounds of chamber music and being too symphonic in style. If that is the case, it is in very good company, because there are many movements of Beethoven’s quartets about which the same has been said, as well as Schubert’s G-major quartets, the first movement of which already sounds like a Bruckner symphony (even though Bruckner was only two years old when it was written!). Conductors such as Mahler, Toscanini, Furtwängler, Mitropoulos and Bernstein often performed quartets with full string orchestras and others went even further. Szell orchestrated Smetana’s first string quartet, Barschai some of Shostakovich’s, and there are above all many works for piano and strings with which one could do the same. Schoenberg orchestrated Brahms’s first piano quartet, and the other piano quartets and piano quintet are certainly symphonic in sound and scope. Piano quintets by Taneyev, Reger and Bloch can also join this illustrious company.

The Franck seemed be an obvious work to orchestrate. It can be considered the equal of his well-known symphony in d-minor in intrinsic quality. In addition, it contains some of the most passionate music of the entire century, comparable to “Tristan” in its voluptuousness. And in terms of sheer violence of expression, like the coda of the first movement, it is only equalled by certain passages in Tchaikovsky’s Manfred and Francesca da Rimini. The second movement has great intimacy and yearning sadness but also one of the most awesome climaxes in all of 19th century music.

Debussy admired Franck greatly, despite the great differences in their music and aesthetic aims. He wrote: “César Franck is always a worshipper of music. No power on earth can induce him to interrupt a passage he considers just and necessary; however long it is, it must be gone through. This is the hallmark of an imagination so selfless as to check its very sobs until it has first tested their genuineness.” The great main cyclical melody of Franck’s quintet can be heard very clearly as the inspiration (conscious or not) behind the principal subject of the third movement of Debussy’s La mer. At one point (five measures after rehearsal letter R in my score) the connection will be obvious to those who know the Debussy.

After playing the work for over 30 years I felt that the full impact of this work could be even more powerfully projected with an orchestral treatment. Doing so was by no means just a matter of orchestrating the piano part and keeping the strings as they were in the original, rather a complete rethinking of the entire score in orchestral terms. In this process, no attempt was made to duplicate Franck’s own very idiosyncratic type of orchestration.

As much as Franck’s “other” symphony, this work has all of the necessary elements to appeal to larger concert audiences.

Ira Levin, October 2012

 

 


Allegretto

 

Allegretto | more info
Duration 4'00'' 13 pages

1121/2221/11/Strings and Violoncello Solo

 

 


Juhlamarssi Op. 13a

 

Juhlamarssi Op. 13a | more info
3333/4331/12/0/11111

Duration 8'00''

 

 


Juhlamarssi (Lapuan marssi) Op. 5b

 

Juhlamarssi (Lapuan marssi) Op. 5b | more info
Duration 8'00'' 40 pages

1121/2220/11/0/11111+ Coro SATB

 

 


Nuijamiesten marssi Op. 28 No 4c

 

Nuijamiesten marssi Op. 28 No 4c | more info
2222/4231/11/0/11111

Duration 2'00''

Material on hire

 

 


Orjan poika Op. 14 No 2

 

Orjan poika Op. 14 No 2 | more info
3333/4431/21/2/11111

Elegy, Final Chorus and Epilogue

Duration 14'00''

Material on hire

 

 


Preludio Op. 10 No 1

 

Preludio Op. 10 No 1 | more info
Duration 2'30''

2222/4231/10/0/11111

 

 


Fuuga Op. 10 No 2

 

Fuuga Op. 10 No 2 | more info
Duration 5'30'' 27 pages

2222/4231/10/0/11111

 

 


Suru Op. 22 No 2

 

Suru Op. 22 No 2 | more info
2222/4000/10/1/11111

Duration 5'00''

Material on hire

 

 


Fantasia and Fugue on the Theme B-A-C-H

 

Fantasia and Fugue on the Theme B-A-C-H | more info
Duration 11'00''-12'00'' 45 pages

*3333/4331/Timp./Strings

Orchestration by Ira Levin

Material on hire


Liszt’s “Fantasy and Fugue on the theme BACH” is one of his most original creations. Originally written in 1855 for organ and then revised in 1870 for piano solo, it stretches the limits of tonality, especially in the fugue, to an extent that was almost unprecedented at the time except in certain works of Chopin and Liszt himself, leading ultimately to Wagner’s “Tristan und Isolde” a couple of years later and then the final dissolution of tonality with Schoenberg. However, the work is by no means just of an historical interest, it is rather a wild and passionate tone poem that also has it’s moments of quiet contemplation, and a triumphant conclusion. It is one of the four great works based on BACH, after Bach himself used the theme for what was to be the final triple fugue of his “Art of the Fugue”. It is known that Beethoven had been contemplating a BACH overture at the time of his death and Schumann’s opus 60 consists of some beautiful fugues on the same subject. However, Liszt’s work goes way beyond these in finding some quite amazing possibilities inherent in the theme, something that was further developed by Reger in his great organ work opus 46, Busoni in his extraordinary “Fantasia contrappuntistica” (also orchestrated by me and published by “Tilli”), which takes Bach’s fugue as the starting point for a visionary journey of enormous fascination and proportions, and then the simply astonishing “Offrande musicale sur le nom BACH, the opus 187 of Charles Koechlin. That 50- minute orchestral masterpiece seems once and for all to exhaust all of the implications that Liszt was the first to explore. I feel that Liszt made some great improvements over his popular organ version when he revised it for piano many years later, after the end of his great Weimar period and the appearance of some of his most enduring works. I have performed this version for almost 30 years and still enjoy doing so. However, I always felt that much of it fairly screamed out for orchestral treatment, as it takes the piano to unheard of limits of sonority and is full of implied instrumental combinations. I have, in all humility, but also in the true Liszt-Busoni tradition, made some small changes which I feel have tightened the work up a little bit structurally and made it more effective, at least in it’s present orchestral setting. My hope is that this version might introduce larger concert audiences to a powerful and revolutionary work that is well known only by organists, and some pianists, in this Liszt bicentennial year.
Ira Levin, February 2011

 

 


Uuden aamun soitto Op. 301

 

Uuden aamun soitto Op. 301 | more info
13 pages

1121 / 1210 / T+1 / Archi

 

 


Mont Saint Michel

 

Mont Saint Michel | more info
13 pages

2221 / 3210 / 1+1 / 0 / Archi

 

 


Dramatische Ouverture Op. 6

 

Dramatische Ouverture Op. 6 | more info
Duration 15'00'' 42 pages

3223 / 4331 / 11 / 1 / Strings

 

 


Five Pieces for Orchestra

 

Five Pieces for Orchestra | more info
Duration 15'30'' 58 pages

1. Oriental Sketch 2'00''
2. Etude tableaux Op. 33 No 6 2'00''
3. Bogoroditse Devo Op. 37 No 6 3'00''
4. Prelude Op. 32 No 10 5'00''
5. Humoresque Op. 10 No 5 3'30''

orchestration by Ira Levin

 

 


Oriental Sketch

 

Oriental Sketch | more info
Duration 2'00'' 11 pages

Orchestration by Ira Levin

Material on hire

 

 


Bogoroditse Devo Op. 37 No 6

 

Bogoroditse Devo Op. 37 No 6 | more info
Duration 3'00'' 2 Pages

String orchestra

orchestration by Ira Levin

 

 


Etude tableau Op. 33 No 6

 

Etude tableau Op. 33 No 6 | more info
Duration 2'00'' 13 pages

Orchestration by Ira Levin

Material on hire

 

 


Prelude Op. 32 No 10

 

Prelude Op. 32 No 10 | more info
*3333 4231 12 Harp Strings

orchestration by Ira Levin

 

 


Variations and Fugue on a Theme by J.S. Bach

 

Variations and Fugue on a Theme by J.S. Bach | more info
an Orchestration of Op. 81 by Ira Levin
Duration 24'00'' - 25'00'' 86 pages

*3*3*33/4231/1+1/Strings

10 Variations and Fugue

 

 


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