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Chorale Prelude on "Darwall"

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Uploaded by: Agnus_Dei (11/01/16)
Composer: Rowley, Alec
Sample Producer: Milan Digital Audio
Sample Set: Salisbury Cathedral Father Willis
Software: Hauptwerk
Genre: Modern
Alec Rowley was born in London on 13 March 1892, teacher, composer, organist, pianist, lecturer and writer, who studied at the RAM with Frederick Corder and where he won sundry scholarships and prizes. He was an organist at several London churches including, during the Second World War, St Margaret's, Westminster. As a pianist he often broadcast duets with Edgar Moy. In 1920, he was appointed to the staff of Trinity College, London, where he was elected a Fellow and remained until his death. He was elected a Fellow of the RAM in 1934. He published several books on music. His compositions were not exclusively for amateurs: a few of them were performed at the Proms. From around 1930 the BBC regularly broadcast his music. He died on 11 January 1958.

He edited much early English keyboard music. An organist himself, Rowley was equally prolific in this field. Many of his organ solos are brief and simple: chorale preludes, genre pieces, toccatas, marches and voluntaries suitable for the small organ and less experienced player. Sometimes he brought out more ambitious recital pieces, like the Heroic Suite of 1921, the Sonata in A minor and two symphonies in B minor and F major published late in his life, but we do not encounter these nowadays. Indeed I am not sure that other organists ever took up Rowley's music to any extent.

I hope that these uploads are helping to make his music more well-known. Certainly, MUCH of it is worth taking a good look at!

This brilliant work comes from the "Chorale Preludes based on famous Hymn Tunes, Volume 5, No. 3," and published by Ashdown. It is to be played "like an improvisation," and there is plenty of color and excitement as it sweeps along to its triumphant conclusion.

The famous melody was composed by John Darwall (1731–1789), an English clergyman and hymnodist.

The score is attached below, as well as a photo of Alec Rowley.

For All Souls Day, November 2nd, I have another beautiful Rowley piece to upload.
Performance: Live
Recorded in: Stereo
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