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 liturgical music which include several complete service settings, as well as a Communion Service. The Evening Service in F minor, for double choir a capella is particularly fine. A number of his fine hymn descants are still in common use, as are a few of his hymn tunes. His monumental anthem, "What are these that glow from afar?", which was written to commemorate those who fell in World War I is an electrifying work that fully satisfies and challenges organist and choir! Fortunately, the text is such that it can be used for the Feast of All Saints. His organ works, which are numerous, have all but disappeared from the repertoire, even 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.
"Idyll No. 1" was published by Stainer & Bell in 1912, and is dedicated to English organist and composer: "To C(ecil) A(rmstrong) Gibbs.
For it's motto, Gray takes the text, "Spring comes hither", so, it is especially appropriate for hearing today!
The work has the "flutter and charm" of the season, with plenty of contrasts of texture and tonality. While the piece is never "loud," the dynamics are also varied, and help to paint the overall freshness and beauty of the new season.
I wish everyone a very Happy Spring!
The score is attached below, as well as several photos of Alan Gray, two photos of C. A. Gibbs, to whom the work is dedicated, and several of Trinity College, Cambridge.