Reviews

  • Stands out among the Christmas 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.

    Ian Sansom, Guardian
  • 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. ... The sound is a 20th-century British invention, which - because it coincided with the rise of broadcasting and recording - went on to conquer the world.

    Richard Morrison, The Times
  • This eye-opening - and ear-opening - book ... investigates the creation of a style, and the evolution of a tradition, that now feels as anciently English as the tentacular late-Gothic stonework of King's chapel itself. Along the way, Day's meticulous history of a special choral sound opens out into an exploration of the ever-shifting bonds between music and society, and art and faith. ... This Christmas, as at every Christmas, millions of listeners will have relished the ethereal King's choir but fretted at their distance from the doctrines that lie behind the carols' words. One of the many revelations contained in Day's erudite, original and surprisingly moving book is the discovery that we owe this sound of angels to musicians plagued by the same, wholly human, fears and doubts.

    Boyd Tonkin, The Arts Desk
  • A wonderful book full of fascinating detail and shrewd insights. It concludes with a deeply moving chapter on the cultural and spiritual significance of the Anglican choral tradition.

    Clare Stevens, Choir & Organ