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Fantasie and Fugal Toccata

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Uploaded by: Agnus_Dei (05/01/23)
Composer: Rowley, Alec
Sample Producer: Milan Digital Audio
Sample Set: Salisbury Cathedral Father Willis
Software: Hauptwerk IV
Genre: Mid-20th Century
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, having 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 at that time, and Rowley was forced to leave his position.

"Fantasie and Fugal Toccata" was published by Joseph Williams Limited in 1936. It is dedicated: "To Kaikhosru Sorabji".

Kaikhosru Sorabji (1892-1988) was an English composer, music critic, pianist and writer whose music, written over a period of seventy years, ranges from sets of miniatures to works lasting several hours. He did compose some organ works, including three massive symphonies.

If you have followed the "Rowley Riot," you'll probably know that I thought I had recorded the complete works, only to discover that there were still two remaining pieces, the scores of both were very hard to find!

"Fantasie and Fugal Toccata" is a massive work, dramatic to the extreme, and very modern in the harmonic usage. This long and difficult work maintains interest and complexity from start to finish. I felt that there is an excellent sense of "togetherness" in this work, as thematic interplay is really together in it.

It's a great and monumental work!

The score, a series of photos of Rowley, one of St. Alban's, Teddington, and several of Kaikhosru Sorabji are attached.

Performance: Live
Recorded in: Stereo
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