The Time of Our Singing
|Publisher||Farrar Straus & Giroux|
|Preceded by||Plowing the Dark|
|Followed by||The Echo Maker|
The Time of Our Singing (2003) is a novel by American writer Richard Powers. It tells the story of two brothers involved in music, dealing heavily with issues of prejudice. Their parents met at Marian Anderson's concert on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial after she had been barred from any other legitimate concert venue. The story goes back and forth between the generations describing the unusual coupling of a German-Jewish physicist who has lost his family in the holocaust and a black woman from Philadelphia both of whom have strong musical backgrounds. They impart their love of music to their family. Their two boys go on to study music and become professional musicians. One a singer, the other a pianist.
This is a complex epic novel juxtaposing historical events covering most of the 20th century, depicting racism and the development of civil rights efforts and the author's love and knowledge of music and physics. The book can be read on many levels but those who have at least some familiarity with music will find a plethora of references to music from all eras and styles.
Music referenced in the book
Powers makes many references to specific composers, musicians and singers in the novel. Below are some examples.
- "Time Stands Still" by John Dowland (1563–1626) - Page 4
- "Carmen" by Georges Bizet - Page 9
- Nina Simone
- "Concierto de Aranjuez" by Joaquín Rodrigo
- "Sketches of Spain" by Miles Davis
- "Der Erlkönig" by Franz Schubert
- "Bist du bei mir" attributed to Johann Sebastian Bach, actually by Gottfried Heinrich Stölzel.
- The Visitation by Gunther Schuller
Physics referenced in the book
- The Daughters of the American Revolution refused permission for Marian Anderson to sing to an integrated audience in Constitution Hall.
- "National Book Critics Circle Award finalists". Retrieved 28 January 2014.
|Wikiquote has a collection of quotations related to: The Time of Our Singing|
- Bibliography of editions of The Time of Our Singing.
- Listing of reviews and writings about The Time of Our Singing.
- The Chronicle of Higher Education Review of "The Time of Our Singing" in the context of artistic collaboration between Jewish & African American musicians.
- New York Times Review of "The Time of Our Singing".
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