The symphonic work titled “City Noir (2009)” by world’s famous composer John Adams is primarily inspired by Kevin Starr’s, a historian, work on metropolitan California’s rich social and cultural history between 40s and 50s. [1] The work characterized as “jazz-inflected symphonic music” like what Adams wants to achieve for the entire piece. Another important personality that contributed to the success of the composition was Darius Milhaud, a French composer, who served as the originator of the popular symphonic performance.

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As quoted by prufrocksdilemma site, “City Noir didn’t sound like any o the works by John Adams I’d come to know and embrace. But I was curious, not to mention encouraged by a very reliable source to keep listening, so I did. While City Noir remained a bit of a foreign object – so unlike The Dharma at Big Sur, which I took to at once – there was something about it that “had legs”, and I wanted to know more. I was particularly curious about the choice of concert programming. The line-up was Respighi’s Fontane di Roma, to which I’d only recently introduced, the Ravel, and City Noir. What was the concept here? What was the “through line” that led from Respighi to Ravel to, of all things, City Noir?”

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  1. Just Walking Around in John Adams City Noir (2016, November 16). Retrieved November 16 2016 from