I Saw Eternity the Other Night
It has been widely assumed that the King's style essentially continues an English choral tradition inherited directly from the Middle Ages. In this original and illuminating book, Timothy Day shows that this could hardly be further from the truth. Until the 1930s, the singing at King's was full of high Victorian emotionalism, like that at many other English choral foundations well into the twentieth century.
The choir's modern sound was brought about by two intertwined revolutions, one social and one musical. From 1928, singing with the trebles in place of the old lay clerks, the choir was fully made up of choral scholars - college men, reading for a degree. Under two exceptional directors of music - Boris Ord from 1929 and David Willcocks from 1958 - the style was transformed and the choir broadcast and recorded until it became the epitome of English choral singing, setting the benchmark for all other choral foundations either to imitate or to react against. Its style has now been taken over and adapted by classical performers who sing both sacred and secular music in secular settings all over the world with a precision inspired by the King's tradition.
I Saw Eternity the Other Night investigates the timbres of voices, the enunciation of words, the use of vibrato. But the singing of all human beings, in whatever style, always reflects in profound and subtle ways their preoccupations and attitudes to life. These are the underlying themes explored by this book.
|Publication date||15 November 2018|
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