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City Noir


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City Noir + Adams: The Gospel According To The Other Mary
Price For Both: £19.51

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Product details

  • Audio CD (26 May 2014)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Nonesuch
  • ASIN: B00JL1BIJG
  • Other Editions: MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 2,637 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Listen to Samples and Buy MP3s

Songs from this album are available to purchase as MP3s. Click on "Buy MP3" or view the MP3 Album.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         

Samples
Song Title Time Price
Listen  1. City Noir: I. The City and its Double13:47Album Only
Listen  2. City Noir: II. The Song is for You 9:22£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  3. City Noir: III. Boulevard Night12:14Album Only
Listen  4. Saxophone Concerto: I. Animato - Moderato - Tranquillo, suave12:28Album Only
Listen  5. Saxophone Concerto: I. (cont'd.) Moderato - Tranquillo, suave 9:20£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  6. Saxophone Concerto: II. Molto vivo (a hard driving pulse) 5:51£0.99  Buy MP3 

Product Description

Nonesuch Records releases City Noir - comprising the title piece by composer John Adams and the debut recording of his Saxophone Concerto. Both pieces are performed by the St. Louis Symphony led by Music Director David Robertson. Saxophonist Timothy McAllister is featured on both pieces.

City Noir “is a symphony inspired by the peculiar ambience and mood of Los Angeles ‘noir’ films, especially those produced in the late ’40s and early ’50,” says Adams in his notes on the piece. “My music is an homage not necessarily to the film music of that period but rather to the overall aesthetic of the era.” Following The Dharma at Big Sur and El Dorado, City Noir “becomes the third in a triptych of orchestral works that have as their theme the California experience, its landscape and its culture,” explains the composer. In its review of the piece, the New York Times said that Adams “has become a master at piling up materials in thick yet lucid layers. Moment to moment the music is riveting.”

Adams’ Saxophone Concerto was composed for McAllister, whom the composer described as “a fearless musician and risk taker” after the musician’s performance of what Adams calls a “fiendishly difficult” alto sax solo part in City Noir. The composer explains, also in his notes, that he grew up “hearing the sound of the saxophone virtually every day—my father had played alto in swing bands during the 1930s and our family record collection was well stocked with albums by the great jazz masters—I never considered the saxophone an alien instrument.”

Adams continues, “While the concerto is not meant to sound jazzy per se, its jazz influences lie only slightly below the surface.” The Australian noted of its world premiere performance that “in the relentless, bebop-like figurations—stunningly executed—it recalled the frenetic solos of Charlie Parker, Cannonball Adderley and John Coltrane.” This is the first recording of the work.

California–born conductor David Robertson has worked with major orchestras around the world. In 2014–2015 Robertson celebrates his 10th season as Music Director of the St. Louis Symphony. Founded in 1880, the St. Louis Symphony is the second-oldest orchestra in the United States. Robertson and the St. Louis Symphony’s last release with Nonesuch was Adams’ composition, Doctor Atomic Symphony, which was named Classical Album of the Decade by the Times of London.

The New York Times has called Timothy McAllister “one of the foremost saxophonists of his generation.” He is a member of the PRISM Quartet and also tours and records as a soloist and orchestral musician. Besides these two pieces by John Adams, McAllister has premiered more than 150 other new works by composers including William Bolcom, Donnacha Dennehy, John Harbison, Jennifer Higdon, Zhou Long, Steven Mackey, and Gunther Schuller, among many others. McAllister serves as associate professor of saxophone and co-director of the Institute for New Music at Northwestern University.

John Adams is one of America's most admired and respected composers. A musician of enormous range and technical command, he has produced works, both operatic and symphonic, that stand out among all contemporary classical music for the depth of their expression, the brilliance of their sound, and the profoundly humanist nature of their themes. His music has played a decisive role in turning the tide of musical aesthetics away from the theoretical principles of European modernism toward a more expansive and expressive language, so characteristic of his New World surroundings.

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By smartyfun on 29 May 2014
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Brilliant! John Adams doesn't disappoint. His music always has a great quality which is improved with repeated listening. I was looking forward to City Noir, but found myself hooked on the Saxophone Concerto which is also included on the CD. There is a Jazz influence is both pieces, but this isn't Jazz music. It's modern symphonic music which isn't difficult to listen to, so should find broad appeal. Suitable for BBC Proms, but probably not Classic FM. Highly recommended!
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Giles Christian on 15 July 2014
Format: Audio CD
I've been waiting ages for this to be released. I'm a big Adams fan and this doesn't disappoint in any way. It has the usual John Adams momentum and is across between an old movie soundtrack and a tour of LA. If James Dean was making movies today, this might be the music they would use. A little edgier than many of his works, there is a sense of uneasiness throughout. The Saxophone Concerto is in similar mood so they make a great coupling here.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful By MR A MACLEOD on 9 Dec. 2014
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
A superb cd of the music of John Adams.Timothy McAllister is very accoml
plashed on Alto saxophone. More of this please.
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4 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Charles Voogd on 5 Aug. 2014
Format: Audio CD
Where’re your guts mr. Adams? I think you’ve lost them over the years. Your music isn’t provocative anymore, now it’s very much middle of the road and very safe. Where’re your daring compositions like the Chamber Symphony, Harmonielehre and the like? Your music is proof that young people are the creative ones and older ones just repeat their past successes. Mr. Adams music has now turned into a kind of American Socialist Realist crap. The composers who find inspiration in weird poetry and UFO’s. Or throw ketchup over canvasses in their spare time and call it a painting. What the heck is Noir in City Noir? The film music of Bernard Herrmann and Miklos Rózsa is more like that in my opinion. Where’re the risk in the saxophone concerto? Some weird sounds or very high notes? ‘Modern’ but not modest American composers today think using percussion is all the craze. But it’s very fatiguing and annoying. Here a climax and a climax again. Probably they’d better listen to Anton Bruckner: one clear climax is enough.
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1 of 6 people found the following review helpful By M H BATES on 6 July 2014
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Brilliant
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