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Grave (Twelve Short Preludes, Set 1, No. 1)

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Uploaded by: Agnus_Dei (02/12/19)
Composer: Gray, Alan
Sample Producer: Lavender Audio
Sample Set: Hereford Cathedral Willis Organ
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.

Gray was a TALL man, who stood at 6'7"! However he was said to be very gentle, especially with choristers, who loved him greatly. He is still thought of with words of praise at Trinity College.

Just when I had settled upon doing the First Sonata by Faulkes, the opportunity for doing the three posthumously-published fantasies by Gray, so, I'm going to do my best to complete them. I've already recorded the massive third one in E Minor: http://www.contrebombarde.com/concerthall/music/22196

In order to get "in the spirit," I decided to look at these two sets of brief, but high quality works. The first set of "Twelve Short Preludes" are dedicated to the organ builder Arthur Harrison (1868-1936).

The first, "Grave" is in a solemn E minor, with tension and interest built up and melted down before settling into a gentle E major. It's almost like a storm that doesn't last, and at the end, the sun is shining, perhaps dimly, again.

The score ore is attached below, as well as a photos of Alan Gray, and his memorial in Trinity College ante-chapel. Since I'm out of space, you can read the translation in the First Comment.
Performance: Live
Recorded in: Stereo
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