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.
The Twelve Short Preludes, Set I are dedicated to Sir Arthur Harrison. The eleventh is in the key of F minor, and has a sense of "uneasiness" about it. If you play it, you'll need to "decipher" exactly what it is that Gray is asking for. Apparently, he either "missed" or "got wrong" some details, and you have to decide how to get the results that he wants!
Any gloom or foreboding suddenly vanishes with the final passage played upon the Swell strings with super coupler. :-)
The score is attached below, as well as photos of Alan Gray, of Trinity College Chapel, and of his memorial in Trinity College ante-chapel.
The translation of which reads as follows:
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.