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I Saw Eternity the Other Night: King’s College, Cambridge and the English Singing Style Reviews

I Saw Eternity the Other Night: King’s College, Cambridge and the English Singing Style  by Timothy Day

I Saw Eternity the Other Night: King's College, Cambridge, and an English Singing Style

Timothy Day

4.00 out of 5

3 reviews

Category: Music, Non-fiction, History
Imprint: Allen Lane
Publisher: Penguin Books Ltd
Publication date: 15 Nov 2018
ISBN: 9780241352182

The sound of the choir of King's College, Cambridge - its voices perfectly blended, its emotions restrained, its impact sublime - has become famous all over the world, and for many, the distillation of a particular kind of Englishness.

  • The GuardianBook of the Year
4 stars out of 5
Ian Sansom
1 Dec 2018

"stands out among the festive throng"

I Saw Eternity the Other Night: King’s College, Cambridge, and an English Singing Style stands out among the festive throng for a number of reasons, not least because it’s not really a Christmas book. It is a serious study of modern English choral traditions, but because this year marks the 100th anniversary of the Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols from King’s College, Cambridge, it counts as scholarship in a jolly jumper. The perfect Boxing Day gift for your serious uncle.

Reviews

4 stars out of 5
21 Dec 2018

"impeccably researched"

...the most prominent institution still clinging to a boys-only treble line, when the vast majority of British cathedrals now also run girls’ choirs... That contentious topic is mentioned in Timothy Day’s monumental new tome about the choir, but his central thesis touches on something even more radical than its all-male personnel... the sound produced by King’s — a sound of such purity and precision that it still sets the international benchmark for sacred choral performance... The King’s choir’s glory years under Ord and Willcocks are at the heart of Day’s massive, impeccably researched book. Its scope, however, is far wider.

4 stars out of 5
15 Dec 2018

"Day is an expert guide to the often closed world of cathedral and college music-making. "

Day’s book sells itself simply, as a history and unpacking of the famous ‘King’s sound’ — the distinctive, and for many unequalled, tone of the Choir of King’s College, Cambridge. But while there’s certainly material here on the mechanics of voice production and the acoustic science of King’s Chapel, sound quickly becomes a metaphor for identity: if a man’s character can be heard in his voice, so a nation’s can emerge through its choirs.