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.
"A Fantasy of Happiness" was published by Joseph Williams Limited in 1924. It is dedicated: "To my friend - Edward d'Evry".
This score is VERY RARE, and I received through the kindness of our member "Melba". THANK YOU, Brad!
Edouard (Edward) d'Evry (1869-1950), F.R.C.O., F.T.C.L. was Assistant Organist of the Brompton Oratory, London from 1893-99, and Organist there from 1899-1935. He composed a number of pieces for organ in varying styles over a period of more than 50 years.
Written a broad style and an almost Elgarian sweep, the piece makes a grand statement, bold and joyous. The opening section is a tuneful march, with harmonies that are very typical of Rowley's writing. A grand climax melts down to a fine middle section, which is based upon a well-known hymn melody that I know, but CAN NOT identify! The concluding section repeats the opening material, and build to a conclusion that shows the composer in one of his memorable and massive conclusions.
The rare score is attached below, as well as photos of Alec Rowley and Edward d'Evry.
If you can help to identify the hymn melody heard in the middle section, upon which this work is based, please let us know.
My sincere THANKS to all who have listened to the long journey of the Rowley Riot!
I wish you all peace and happiness.