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Berceuse in A

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Uploaded by: Agnus_Dei (10/21/16)
Composer: Rowley, Alec
Sample Producer: Lavender Audio
Sample Set: Hereford Cathedral Willis Organ
Software: Hauptwerk IV
Genre: Late Romantic
Alec Rowley (1892-1958) was a pupil of Frederick Corder at the Royal Academy of Music in London. He was a composer, organist and pianist, who taught composition at Trinity College in London.

He was for many years the organist of St Alban's Church, Teddington and was a contributor to 'The Rotunda', the house magazine of Henry Willis & Sons Ltd.

If you've listened to any of my recent Rowley uploads, you will have noticed that he had a rather distinctive "modern style," with an unusual and highly personal harmonic language.

At the time he composed this (1912), he was organist at St. John the Divine, Richmond, UK.

"Berceuse in A" is the first piece in a collection, "An Album of Organ Pieces," published by Paxton (Mills in the USA). It appears that these pieces may have been grouped together for publication, as they are from different dates and only some have opus numbers and dedications. This one dates from 1912. So, this would have made Rowley only 20 at the time he wrote these!

"Berceus in A" is a sweet cradle-song. It has a fully-romantic harmonic pallet, but there is an elemant of folksong in there, and this prevents it from being "overly sweet."

Rowley asks for celestes with the octave (super) coupler, and this is a very etheral sound on the Hereford organ. I did go for some variety to match the dynamics, but tried to avoid being "fussy" - something I sometimes (often!) trap myself in! ;-) Listening in retrospect, I probably would have left off the 32' Open Wood for the final chord.

I think I'll do the remaining four pieces in the collection, so, I'll just upload them as I do them, rather than "saving" them to make a set.

The score is attached below, as well as a photo of Rowley, as well as several photos of St. John the Divine, where he was organist when he wrote these "early" pieces.

It's nice to see that there are some TRADITIONAL parishes still in business!

MANY THANKS to all of my loyal listeners and subscribers! :-)
Performance: Live
Recorded in: Stereo
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