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Fugue (on an old Subject)

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Uploaded by: Agnus_Dei (09/06/22)
Composer: Gray, Alan
Sample Producer: Milan Digital Audio
Sample Set: Salisbury Cathedral Father Willis
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 liturgical music which include several complete service settings. 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. 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.

A memorial to him in the ante-chapel reads:

"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."

"Fugue (on an old Subject)" was published in 1920 by Augener Ltd. It is a fine example of a fugue of the period. The writing is concise and to the point, but warm and expressive with attractive and expressive harmonic and melodic ideas. Because of the brevity, nothing is wasted. A fine climax is reached over a pedal point, and the conclusion is elegant and dignified.

The score is attached below, as well as several photos of Alan Gray, including the memorial quoted above, and 2 pictures of Trinity College Chapel, Cambridge.
Performance: Live
Recorded in: Stereo
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