Alec Rowley (1892-1958) was a pupil of Frederick Corder at the Royal Academy of Music in London. He was a composer, organist and pianist, who taught composition at Trinity College in London. He broadcast frequently in piano duet repertoire with Edgar Moy, and his name was known to many through his writing and through the many educational pieces that he wrote, staple fare for many a beginner or amateur player. His more demanding work as a composer has been unfairly neglected. Rowleys Piano Concerto No.1, scored for piano, strings, and percussion, was first performed in 1938.
He was for many years the organist of St Alban's Church, Teddington and was a contributor to 'The Rotunda', the house magazine of Henry Willis & Sons Ltd.
Rowley composed a large amount of organ music, much of which is of a high quality.
He wrote seven volumes of "Chorale Preludes based on Famous Hymn Tunes".
This flowing setting comes from the 1st volume, and the preludes in this volume are for "Lenten" use. The text that Rowley gives for this tune is "Jesu, lover of my soul," but many will know this as "Take my life, and let it be."
The tune, composed by John B. Dykes (1823-1876) is given a "flowing treatment" with the tune in the tenor and a delightful "obbligato" played upon the Swell strings. The manner of this "accompaniment" is almost "Bach-like" and the tempo should NOT be slow!. I "phrased" the hymn melody in a "generic" manner, "lifting" at each phrase, rather than thinking of any particular verbal text-phrasing. Once again we hear some of Rowley's typical "harmonic fingerprints," and to excellent and tasteful effect.
The score is attached below, as well as a photo Alec Rowley, as well as photos of St. Alban's Church, Teddington, where Rowley was organist.
MORE Rowley to come... :-)