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. He died on 11 January 1958 while playing tennis.
I've done almost all of Rowley's chorale preludes, but here is one that I have NOT done!
Although we observed the great feast of All Saints a few days ago, many churches will observe the Solemnity of All Saints this Sunday. It is with this in mind that I did this upload today.
The "Chorale Prelude on 'Bromsgrove'" dates from 1953, and is found in Volume Five of Rowley's "Choral Preludes based on Famous Hymn Tunes." Much as I hate to disagree with AR, I don't this tune is famous at all! In fact, I don't think I've ever heard it before!
It is based on tune "Bromsgrove" which is found in "Psalmodia Evangelica, Part II, dating from 1789. It is a rousing 18th century tune, and Rowley gives it a unique treatment.
The brilliant opening passages lead to straining chromatic chords and a tremendous climax. The tension subsides, and leads directly into a delightful and treacherous fughetta. It is treacherous because it is constantly modulating, and never seems to come to rest, until the final grandiose "choral-like" section, which begins in "standard hymn harmonies," but before long, Rowley is modulating again! Eventually, the tune goes to the pedal and the triumphant conclusion really CONCLUDES!
It's last Rowley, and even WILD Rowley, but it's Rowly through and through.
This upload is dedicated to our member linkedpa33. I hope you like it, Linc! I had promised you a "Rowley" awhile ago, and hear it is - and a WILD one at that! :-)
I hope you enjoy it!
The score is attached below, as well as the "famous" photo of Alec Rowley.
More Rowley Riot to come! :-)