California, and in particular Los Angeles, seems as much a place of figurative darkness as of its famous, ever-present sunlight and star-powered dazzle factor. The artist trying to create something that brings a place alive in the audience's imagination has to encompass the whole felt reality -- yin, yang and everything in between -- of a particular region and time. That's what composer John Adams did in City Noir
. The orchestral piece was inspired by Adams' interest in the California culture of the 1940s and '50s; it is one part of his Golden State triptych that includes El Dorado
and The Dharma at Big Sur
. City Noir
has never been played in St. Louis until today, when it premieres at 10:30 a.m. at Powell Symphony Hall (718 North Grand Boulevard; 314-534-1700 or www.stlsymphony.org
). The St. Louis Symphony Orchestra, of course, does the musical honors, and tickets range from $27 to $108. There is a second performance at 8 p.m. Saturday, February 16.
Fri., Feb. 15; Sat., Feb. 16, 2013