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West Wind (The Four Winds, No. 4)

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Uploaded by: Agnus_Dei (03/20/17)
Composer: Rowley, Alec
Sample Producer: Lavender Audio
Sample Set: Hereford Cathedral Willis Organ
Software: Hauptwerk IV
Genre: Mid-20th century
Description:
Today, March 20th is the first day of Spring! In my part of the world, spring arrives at 6:29 AM. :-)

For several years, I've tried to upload something on the day of the Vernal Equinox to celebrate the passing away of winter. Last year, I did a nice piece by American composer, Harry Rowe Shelley. http://www.contrebombarde.com/concerthall/music/20153

Alec Rowley (1892-1958) composed a "suite" entitled "The Four Winds." Published by Stainer & Bell in 1925, these tone poems beautifully depict the characteristics of the various winds, and "West Wind" is the one that is the appropriate choice for the day.

The work is inspired by lines by one of England's Poet Laureates, John Masefield (1878-1967).

It's a warm wind, the west wind, full of bird's cries;
I never hear the west wind but tears are in my eyes.
For it comes from the west lands, the old brown hills,
And in April is the west wind, and daffodils.

It's not quite April yet, but, I think we can pretend that it is!

I had originally planned to do this on Salisbury, but when I read that Masefield was born in Hereford, THAT decided the issue of organ choice.

The work chatters happily as rapid and continuous staccato chords played upon the Swell strings delicately blow the way for the arrival of the freshening and new westerly wind.

I had to somewhat "rework" Rowley's registrations, as he seems to call for an enclosed Great. The Flute Harmonique of the Solo does fine "substitute work," and the Clarinet also gets a chance. The Swell box keeps busy throughout, as the shading is always changing, helping to increase the feel of motion.

This is a SOFT PIECE! It NEVER gets loud! If you want to hear it clearly, I think you may want to turn your volume ALL the way up!

The score is attached below , as well as my old, standby photo of Alec Rowley (who is rapidly becoming my best friend!), as well as several photos of John Masefield.

This is my 1300th upload, by the way.

I wish you all a HAPPY SPRING! :-)
Performance: Live
Recorded in: Stereo
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