Robert Kelmsley (Robin) Orr CBE (2 June 1909 – 9 April 2006) was a Scottish composer. He was born in Brechin, and studied at the Royal College of Music in London and Pembroke College, Cambridge. Following studies with Casella and Boulanger he returned to Cambridge in 1938 as Organist of St John’s College. After the war, he was a lecturer at Cambridge and a professor at the RCM, then Professor of Music at the University of Glasgow from 1956-65. In 1965 he became a Professor of Music at Cambridge University, a post he held until his retirement in 1976 (now Emeritus). His works include three operas: Full Circle (STV for Scottish Opera, 1968), Hermiston (Edinburgh International Festival, 1975) and On the Razzle (RSAMD, 1988), three symphonies, and the Sinfonietta Helvetica (1990), alongside church music and solo and chamber works.
"Elegy" is found in "Easy Modern Organ Music, Book 2," published by Oxford University Press in 1971. It is a short, "quietly dissonant" work that has a feeling of elegance about it, despite the fact that much of it will be regarded as "harsh" by any "non-adventurous" listeners.
I always have to laugh that these books are called "easy." Certainly, the notes are not difficult, but you will need "significant refinement" in order to make this work.
I had hoped to do this as a "prelude" to a few other works by Robin Orr, such his "Preludes on Scottish Hymns," but these works are all "hard and harsh," and you'd really have to want to play them in order to put in the prerequisite time to learn them.
I've never heard them, but I have looked at them from time to time. I can't honestly say that they "hook me," so, this is probably the first and last of the Orr series! ;-)
The score is attached for those who may be interested. Also attached is a photo of Robin Orr, as well as two period photos of the Chapel of St. John's College, Cambridge.