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Chorale Prelude on "St. Flavian" (Thus may we all thy Word obey")

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Widor - 10 Symphonies

Uploaded by: Agnus_Dei (03/08/17)
Composer: Gray, Alan
Sample Producer: Lavender Audio
Sample Set: Hereford Cathedral Willis Organ
Software: Hauptwerk IV
Genre: Early 20th-century
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 fourth, is based on the famous tune "St. Flavian," adapted from Day's "Psalter" of 1562.

Gray sites the text as the last verse of a Communion hymn, "Thus may we all thy Word obey," but the characteristic is humble and penitential, and could easily be paired with the Lenten text, "Lord, who throughout these Forty Day."

The writing is quite dark and chromatic, and is marked "Andante." Once again, the tune appears in the left hand, with some intense and interesting harmonic moments. As in the preceding prelude, the writing is sophisticated, and typical of the high quality and seriousness of purpose in all of Gray's compositions.

The score is attached below, as well as a photos of Alan Gray, and his memorial in Trinity College ante-chapel, which translates as:
Performance: Live
Recorded in: Stereo
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