A Noir City

Thanks to KUSC, I have now been introduced to John Adams’ City Noir, a uniquely American style symphonic work that balances jazz and the orchestra in a film noir backdrop. This three movement piece calls up scores from The Maltese Falcon, Double Indemnity, Vertigo, and Chinatown. The 30 minute symphonic work makes an exciting extension to the film noir genre that should not be missed. Here is an excerpt from the 3rd movement, Boulevard Night:

My favorite moment is in the first 2 minutes of the piecewhere a clandestine and shadowy contrabass solo and drum kit set the scene. The world premiere recording with the LA Philharmonic is available on iTunes for only $3.99. Check it out!

City Noir

  1. The City and its Double
  2. The Song is for You
  3. Boulevard Night

Orchestration:  3 flutes (3rd = piccolo), piccolo 2, 3 oboes, English horn, 3 clarinets (3rd = bass clarinet 2), bass clarinet, 2 bassoons, contrabassoon, alto saxophone, 6 horns, 4 trumpets, 3 trombones, tuba, timpani, percussion (temple block, bongos, castanets, chimes, clave, conga, cowbell, crotales, suspended cymbals, bass drum, snare drum, glockenspiel, tuned gongs, jazz kit, marimba, vibraphone, tambourine, tam tams, timbale, tom toms, tri- angle, xylophone), piano, celesta, 2 harps, and strings.

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