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Elegy

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A noble Hill organ, twice orphaned, finds a new home!

The proud organ, built by William Hill for St. Paul's Church-Burton-on-Trent almost 150 years a...

Uploaded by: Agnus_Dei (03/10/17)
Composer: Gray, Alan
Sample Producer: Milan Digital Audio
Sample Set: Salisbury Cathedral Father Willis
Software: Hauptwerk
Genre: Early 20th century
Description:
Alan Gray (23 December 1855 – 27 September 1935) was a British organist and composer. He was born in York, and attended St Peter's School and Trinity College, Cambridge. From 1883 until 1893 he was Director of Music at Wellington College. In 1893 he returned to Cambridge, succeeding C.V.Stanford as organist of Trinity College, and remained organist there until 1930. He died in Cambridge in 1935 at the age of 79. Among his compositions are music for the Anglican services, the monumental anthem, "What are these that glow from afar?", which was written to commemorate those who fell in World War I, and numerous organ works, many of high quality, and many extremely difficult. Sadly, his organ works have all but disappeared from the repertoire, even from the repertoire of English organists.

"Elegy" is dedicated: "In memoriam W. D. B. (Dardanelles June 1915)."

The naval operations in the Dardanelles Campaign of the First World War were mainly carried out by the Royal Navy with substantial support from the French and minor contributions from Russia and Australia. The Dardanelles Campaign began as a purely naval operation. When that failed to overcome Ottoman defences, an invasion of the Gallipoli peninsula was launched in which naval forces were heavily involved. Throughout the campaign, attempts were made by submarines to pass through the Dardanelles and disrupt Ottoman Empire shipping in the Sea of Marmara.

This is a work of exquisite beauty and sadness. It has something of the "military memorial" about it, but the music is far deeper and more personal in its impact.

While conceived is a hero's memorial, the solemnity of this work would make appropriate and successful if an "organ meditation" is played during Holy Week.

The score is attached below, as well as a photo of Alan Gray, and a number of actual photos is attached, as well as photos of several battle scenarios from the military action that took the life of the dedicatee of this piece.
Performance: Live
Recorded in: Stereo
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