Gordon Archbold Slater D.Mus. FRCO (1896–1979) was an English cathedral organist, who served in Leicester Cathedral and Lincoln Cathedral. He was a composer of organ, piano and choral music. Three hymn tunes appear in well-known and well-used books. The famous of which, 'St Botolph' is very widely sung to the words "Jesu the Very Thought of Thee".
Slater was an organist for St Botolph's Church, Boston (1919–1927), Leicester Cathedral (1927–1931) and Lincoln Cathedral (1931–1966).
"An Easter Alleluya" was published in 1928, while Slater was at Leicester, and is dedicated to the Provost of Leicester Cathedral.
In the title, Slater calls this a "chorale prelude," but it is "too big" to be just a prelude. The first section is really a grand improvisation with cadenzas and a pedal solo. This all melts away into a more "contrapuntal" section, with a beautiful "accompaniment" on the manuals, with the tune remaining in the pedals. The writing gets more and more elaborate, and a crescendo is always taking place. The conclusion is a massive series of chords, the tune remaining in the Pedal, with the Solo tuba coupled to them. The final cadence is very satisfying.
The melody is one of the most famous and most loved of all hymn melodies. The source of the tune is "Auserlesen Catholische Geistliche Kirchengesäng," published in Cologne in 1623.
A photo of Gordon Slater is attached below, as well as two photos of Leicester Cathedral.
If you enjoyed this upload, you may want to listen to Slater's "Prelude, Intermezzo, and Epilogue."
HAPPY EASTER TO ALL!!!