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.
In 1925, Stainer & Bell published a set of 5 "Chorale Preludes" by Gray. I only have numbers 3-5.
This one, the third, is based on the tune "University," and is dedicated "To A. W. Wilson."
The hymn was composed by C. Collignon (1725-1785). It is a lovely tune, so very "English" in character, but virtually unknown elsewhere.
The setting is marked "Adagio," but it's really much more of an "Andante" than something slow. The melody appears in the left hand, and delicate figures flow above and around it. The writing is sophisticated in all 3 works.
The score is attached below, as well as a photos of Alan Gray, and his memorial in Trinity College ante-chapel, which translates as:
Sacred to the memory of Alan Gray, famous for his music, who served as Organist in this College for thirty-seven years, winning great praise, and was made an Honorary Fellow. He was outstanding in dignity, kindliness and stature. He was born in York in 1855 and died here in 1935. He is greatly missed.