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.
Rowley was a superb teacher, who did much to assist the student. Unfortunately, this labeled him as a "writer of children's music" in the eyes of some.
He was a fine organist, have gained his FRCO by the time he was 16. His largest organist position was at St. Alban's, Teddington, a large and important church. It was during his time at this church that Rowley married and then divorced. Divorce for someone working in the church was not tolerated, and Rowley was ostracized by the parish clergy, and was forced to leave his position.
Rowley, who had always been devout was devastated by their treatment of him, and it ended his "participation" in organized religion. It also essentially ended his playing the organ, and it seems that almost all of his organ pieces were probably NEVER actually played by him.
Individual performance notes are given in the First Comment. There is a lot to hear and take in in these movements, and you really will need more than one casual listening to take it all in. You'll also need to follow the score. Because of the length and complexity of the individual movements, I've chosen to do this as three separate uploads, rather than combining it one long multi-sectioned work.
Except for one small chorale prelude, this is my first Rowley Riot upload since the fabulous "Symphony No. 2 in F". You can hear those pieces here:
The score is attached below, as well as several photos of Alec Rowley and churches he served.