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Oscar Levant

Concert Music Catalogue

Acknowledgements

This catalogue would not be possible without the most generous assistance of librarian Ned Comstock at the Cinema-Television Archive of USC. His professional skills, deep musical interest, and friendly advice made feasible the whole undertaking. The Oscar Levant Collection lives at a very good address.

Access to it could not have been gained without the kind permission of the late June Levant.

Most importantly, awareness of the Collection was made possible by the early and untiringly helpful intervention of Michael Feinstein. A series of long-distance calls, his extraordinary personal knowledge of the Gershwin era, painstaking corrections, and his generosity of spirit all conspired to point this project in the right direction.

Mistakes, of course, are my own contribution to the effort.


At this writing, access to the Oscar Levant Collection requires the prior consent of Mrs Oscar (June) Levant and subsequent arrangement with Ned Comstock and staff at the:

Doheny Library
Cinema-Television Archive
University of Southern California
Los Angeles CA 90089-0182
Phone (213) 740-7610
Fax (213) 747-3301

Index

  1. Berceuse for a Social Misfit
  2. B Flat Minor Concerto
  3. Caprice
  4. Charlie Chan at the Opera
  5. Concerto for Piano and Orchestra
  6. March
  7. Minuet
  8. Nocturne
  9. Nothing Sacred
  10. Overture
  11. Prelude
  12. Rhapsody
  13. Scherzo
  14. Sinfonietta
  15. Sonatina
  16. String Quartette
  17. Suite for Orchestra
  18. No title given
  19. Schubert-Levant Minuet and Gavotte
  20. Pete Roleum and His Cousins

Item Number: 1
Name of Work:Berceuse for a Social Misfit
Alternate Title:
Date/Place of
Composition:
unknown
First Performance:
Instrumentation:Piano and melody line
Movement(s):One
Total Running Time:c. 3:00
Sketch Form:Pencil
Fair Copy Form:Score in ink
Two-hand piano line, treble and bass
Treble melody line above treble piano line
1 page
27 measures
Publication Form:None
Score Form:n/a
Part-Set Form:None
Orchestrated By:
Miscellaneous:
Item Number: 2
Name of Work:B Flat Minor Concerto
Alternate Title:
Date/Place of
Composition:
First Performance:c. 1958
Written For:The Eddie Fisher Show
Instrumentation:
Movement(s):One
Total Running Time:c. 10:00
Sketch Form:
Fair Copy Form:Piano/conductor score in ink
Publication Form:None
Score Form:Piano/conductor
8 pages
Part-Set Form:None
Orchestrated By:
Miscellaneous:Adapted from Tchaikovsky
Item Number: 3
Name of Work:Caprice
Alternate Title:Caprice for Orchestra
Date/Place of
Composition:
First Performance:
Written For:"Written in 1940 for R Bennett's radio show"
"RB's Note Book"
Instrumentation:*2*2*22 / 2320 / timp cymb blocks sd pno / str [vln A, B, C]
Movement(s):One
Total Running Time:c. 9:00
Sketch Form:None
Fair Copy Form:Ink
Publication Form:None
Score Form:Full score
43 pages
254 measures
Part-Set Form:None
Orchestrated By:Levant
Miscellaneous:Recorded by Marin Alsop, conductor
Concordia Chamber Orchestra
Angel CDC 54851
Item Number: 4
Name of Work:Charlie Chan at the Opera
Alternate Title:Carnival [Carnaval, Carnivale]
Date/Place of
Composition:
1936, Hollywood
First Performance:
Written For:20th century Fox film
Instrumentation:
Movement(s):1) Carnival - Then Farewell (Duet for Baritone and Soprano) - 86 measures - 3:24
2) Opera Sequence (Baritone Aria) - 85 measures
3) Aria for Baritone and Soprano - 85 measures
4) Carnivale Marche [incomplete] - 21+ measures
5) Carnival King and Country Call - 17 measures - 2:13
6) Carnival, Ah Romantic Love Dream (Aria for Soprano) - 43 measures - 2:36
7) Ah, Dream of Sweet Romance (Aria for Soprano) - 43 measures
Total Running Time:
Sketch Form:
Fair Copy Form:
Publication Form:
Score Form:Full and Piano/conductor
Part-Set Form:None
Orchestrated By:Charles Maxwell
Miscellaneous:Lyrics by William Kernell
Scores held at 20th century Fox Archives
Item Number: 5
Name of Work:Concerto for Piano and Orchestra
Alternate Title:
Date/Place of
Composition:
c. 1941
"Beverly Wilshire Hotel"
"Park Central Hotel"
First Performance:17 February 1942
Alfred Wallenstein, conductor
NBC Symphony, Studio 8-H
Instrumentation:*2*2*22 / 4331 / timp xyl sd tri cast / solo piano / str
Movement(s):Allegro ritmico et al, in one movement
Total Running Time:14:30
Sketch Form:Full-score pencil sketches
Additional sketches in USC (box 8, folder 6)
Fair Copy Form:Full-score in ink, 2 copies
Publication Form:None
Score Form:Full-score in ink, 3 sets
116 pages
527 measures
Part-Set Form:2 complete, plus ozalide originals
Orchestrated By:Levant
Miscellaneous:Recorded by Alfred Wallenstein, conductor
Oscar Levant, piano
DRG CD 13113
Item Number: 6
Name of Work:March
Alternate Title:
Date/Place of
Composition:
[New York, 1938]
First Performance:
Written For:from 'The American Way' musical
Instrumentation:2 alt sax 2 ten sax / 3 trpt 3 trb / traps, guitar, pno / - str
Movement(s):One
Total Running Time:4:00
Sketch Form:
Fair Copy Form:
Publication Form:None
Score Form:Piano/conductor only
31 pages
124 measures
Part-Set Form:Complete
Orchestrated By:Bernard Mayers
Miscellaneous:
Item Number: 7
Name of Work:Minuet
Alternate Title:
Date/Place of
Composition:
First Performance:
Instrumentation:2222 / 22? / ? / str
Movement(s):[Incomplete]
Total Running Time:
Sketch Form:Pencil sketches only
26 pages
Fair Copy Form:None
Publication Form:None
Score Form:[Incomplete]
Part-Set Form:None
Orchestrated By:Levant
Miscellaneous:United Artists paper
Item Number: 8
Name of Work:Nocturne
Alternate Title:Nocturne for Orchestra
Date/Place of
Composition:
c. 1936
First Performance:14 April 1937, Trinity Auditorium, Los Angeles
Oscar Levant, conductor
Federal Symphony Orchestra
[Gerald Strang, conductor of other works on the evening's program]
Instrumentation:*2*2*22 / 4331 / timp hp cel bd xyl tmb t-t tri / str
Movement(s):One
Total Running Time:10:30
Sketch Form:18 pages of MS sketches
14 pages of MS piano sketches
"May 6 Friday 10:40"
RKO Studio paper
Fair Copy Form:2 reproduction scores in ink, hand "L.Q.W."
One of 48 pages and 228 measures
The other of 72 pages and 228 measures
Dated 1936: "To Arno"
Publication Form:New Music Orchestra Series, 1938
48 pages
228 measures
Score Form:Full score, as printed
Six in set, complete
One of six includes 3 pages of performance notes
- from Vladimir Golschmann, St. Louis Symphony
Part-Set Form:Complete, with miscellaneous extras
Orchestrated By:Levant
Miscellaneous:Print score dedicated "To Arnold Schoenberg"
Part-set copied by "I.L. Epstein E206 Local 802 Registered 1939"
Item Number: 9
Name of Work:Nothing Sacred
Alternate Title:
Date/Place of
Composition:
1937, Hollywood
First Performance:
Written For:Selznick Studios film
Instrumentation:
Movement(s):1) Main Title - 35 measures
2) After Main - 22 measures
3) Insert - Reel 1 - 22 measures
4) Short Version Boat scene (A) - 7 measures
5) Boat Music B - 70 measures
6) Flower Sequence, Reel 5 - 61 measures
7) End Title - 5 measures
Total Running Time:
Sketch Form:None
Plus sketches for 'montage'
Fair Copy Form:None
Publication Form:None
Score Form:Piano/conductor only
Ditto paper, Selznick Library
Part-Set Form:None
Orchestrated By:David Raksin
Miscellaneous:Score and parts also located in
Selznick Library,
Harry Ransom Humanities Research Centre,
University of Texas at Austin, PO Box 7219,
Austin TX 78713-7219, (512) 471-8944
Item Number: 10
Name of Work:Overture
Alternate Title:Overture 1912
A New Overture
Polka for Oscar Homolka
Date/Place of
Composition:
c. 1939
First Performance:1940
Frank Black, conductor
NBC Radio Orchestra
Instrumentation:*2222 / 4230 / timp xyl sd bd cymb tri / str
Movement(s):One
Total Running Time:6:00
Sketch Form:None
Fair Copy Form:Two scores in MS with corrected reproduction
A third score in onionskin
54 pages
282 measures
Publication Form:None
Score Form:Full score in ink
2 pages of hand-written notes [corrections?]
Marked throughout in red, blue, green
Part-Set Form:Two complete part-sets
Numerous changes in parts
Strings also in onion and repro with corrections
Second set appears to be a safety copy,
incomplete in woodwinds and brass
"Jack Kantor Local 802 Registered 1940"
Orchestrated By:Levant
Miscellaneous:
Item Number: 11
Name of Work:Prelude
Alternate Title:Prelude and Fugue in C Major
Date/Place of
Composition:
"Composed in Bayreuth October [1934]"
First Performance:
Instrumentation:1 flute, 1 Bb clarinet, 1 bassoon
Movement(s):Prelude - Full score - 7 pages - 54 measures
Part-set - MS sketch in pencil "October"
Fugue - Full score - 7 pages - 63 measures
Part-set - MS sketch in pencil
"Composed in Bayreuth October"
Total Running Time:6:00 [2:30 + 3:30]
Sketch Form:See above
Fair Copy Form:See above
Publication Form:None
Score Form:
Part-Set Form:Complete
Orchestrated By:Levant
Miscellaneous:
Item Number: 12
Name of Work:Rhapsody
Alternate Title:Romance in High C
Date/Place of
Composition:
"18 July 1947"
First Performance:
Written For:RKO film "Romance on the High Seas"
Instrumentation:Piano
Movement(s):
Total Running Time:3:00
Sketch Form:None
Fair Copy Form:Piano only
5 pages
49 measures
Publication Form:None
Score Form:
Part-Set Form:
Orchestrated By:
Miscellaneous:Warner Brothers' Archive has a three-line piano sketch
Item Number: 13
Name of Work:Scherzo
Alternate Title:[String Quartet No. 2]
Date/Place of
Composition:
First Performance:
Instrumentation:String quartet
Movement(s):
Total Running Time:7:00
Sketch Form:Several pages of apparently-related sketches
Fair Copy Form:Pencil score only
38 pages
366 measures
RKO paper
Publication Form:
Score Form:
Part-Set Form:
Orchestrated By:
Miscellaneous:
Item Number: 14
Name of Work:Sinfonietta
Alternate Title:
Date/Place of
Composition:
First Performance:25 February 1934
Bernard Hermann, conductor
Town Hall, New York
Instrumentation:*1111 / 1110 / timp xyl sd bd cymb / str
Movement(s):Toccata - 41 pages - 202 measures
Adagio - 29 pages - 117 measures
Rondo - 49 pages - 215 measures [including optional cuts]
Total Running Time:11:00
Sketch Form:Pencil sketches for Toccata only
Small sketch book in pencil
Fair Copy Form:Pencil MS of Full score
Ink MS of Full score: 41pp, 29pp, 49pp
Publication Form:None
Score Form:Ink
Part-Set Form:1 ink copy of each part
Orchestrated By:Levant
Miscellaneous:
Item Number: 15
Name of Work:Sonatina
Alternate Title:
Date/Place of
Composition:
1932
First Performance:30 April 1932
Oscar Levant, piano
Yaddo American Music Festival
Saratoga Springs, New York
Instrumentation:Piano
Movement(s):
Total Running Time:12:00
Sketch Form:None
Fair Copy Form:None
Publication Form:Robbins Music Corporation, 1934
17 pages
Score Form:None
Part-Set Form:None
Orchestrated By:
Miscellaneous:Recorded by Levant, 1st movement only,
20 January 1942
Columbia release M-508
DRG CD 13113
Released entire work from radio air-checks
taken on 28 February and 18 November, 1940
Recorded by Joseph Smith, 1993
Premiere CD 1028
Item Number: 16
Name of Work:String Quartette
Alternate Title:[early version:] Two Sentimental Expressions (1938)
Date/Place of
Composition:
c. 1937
First Performance:October 1937
Kolisch Quartet, Denver
Instrumentation:String quartet
Movement(s):Allegro vigoroso - 196 measures
Andantino - 104 measures
Scherzo - 366 measures
Allegro molto - 243 measures
Total Running Time:
Sketch Form:
Fair Copy Form:
Publication Form:None
Score Form:Four MS parts in 1 score:
"String Quartet No. 1"
Ink MS in one score:
"Two Sentimental Expressions for String Quartet"
[the word 'sentimental' is added above line as after-thought, or after-joke]
Part-Set Form:Complete, in ink
1st movement is in two editions
Orchestrated By:
Miscellaneous:
Item Number: 17
Name of Work:Suite
Alternate Title:Suite for Orchestra
Date/Place of
Composition:
1938
First Performance:24 November 1939
Oscar Levant, conductor
Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra
Instrumentation:*2*2*2*2 / 4331 / timp xyl sd tri cymb tamb cel gong / str
Movement(s):March, Allegro con spirito - 41 pages - 270 measures
Dirge, Andante - 31 pages - 104 measures "In Memory of George Gershwin"
Dance in the Form of a Rondo, Allegretto - 68 pages - 230 measures
Total Running Time:22:00
Sketch Form:Large set of pencil sketches
Fair Copy Form:None
Publication Form:None
Score Form:Ink, in hand
Each movement in separate book
Two copies of March
Two copies of Dirge
Part-Set Form:Large set of ink parts, in 3 volumes
Ozalides for each part-set
Orchestrated By:Levant
Miscellaneous:
Item Number: 18
Name of Work:None given
Alternate Title:
Date/Place of
Composition:
c. 1942
First Performance:
Written For:[Russell Bennett radio program 'Note Book'?]
Instrumentation:22*22 / 3330 / cel, hp / str
Movement(s):1) Michigan Sky - 71 measures - 2:30
2) Florida - 48 measures - 1:30
3) New York - 57 measures - 1:55
4) Texas - 54 measures - 2:12
5) End - 18 measures - 0:30
Total Running Time:
Sketch Form:None
Fair Copy Form:Ink in hand
Publication Form:None
Score Form:
Part-Set Form:
Orchestrated By:Russell Bennett 1942 "Prod FA"
Miscellaneous:[For Bennett's radio program on WOR?]
Item Number: 19
Name of Work:Schubert-Levant 'Minuet'
Alternate Title:Minuet and Gavotte
Date/Place of
Composition:
First Performance:
Written For:[Student orchestration assignment?]
Instrumentation:Not stated clearly
Movement(s):
Total Running Time:
Sketch Form:Pencil MS, incomplete
13 pages in Minuet
36 pages in Gavotte
Indeterminate number of measures
Fair Copy Form:None
Publication Form:None
Score Form:
Part-Set Form:
Orchestrated By:Levant
Miscellaneous:[Student work?]
Item Number: 20
Name of Work:Pete Roleum and His Cousins
Alternate Title:
Date/Place of
Composition:
c. 1939
First Performance:
Written For:Joseph Losey, Director
Petroleum Industries Exhibition, Inc., 1939
Instrumentation:
Movement(s):
Total Running Time:Film rt 20:00
Sketch Form:
Fair Copy Form:
Publication Form:
Score Form:
Part-Set Form:Part-sets only
Ordered by cue
Orchestrated By:
Miscellaneous:Industrial film, produced/directed by Joseph Losey
Filmed in Technicolour and 3-D by Harold Muller
Music written by Hanns Eisler
Conducted by Oscar Levant
Film consists of Howard Bay's puppets,
shown at the petroleum industry exhibit,
New York World's Fair, 1939 - 1940

As Preserved In The Oscar Levant Collection
Cinema-Television Archives
Doheny Library
University of Southern California
Los Angeles

Copyright © 1998-2000, Dr. Charles Barber.

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