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 4th volume, and the preludes in this volume are for "General" use.
The tune, composed by William H. Monk (1823-1889) is always associated with the words, "Abide with me." It is given a unique treatment, and is "quicker" than many settings of this melody. Rowley is not a sentimentalist, and the harmonies are certainly not "old-fashioned" in any sense of the word. The key relationships are also unusual, as the tune passes from the usual E-flat to C major, and back again. There are a number of "dissonant" touches, but the ear will hear these as "expressive" and colorful touches.
The work is still very moving, although the overall "mood" is different from most settings of this tune and text.
The score is attached below.
This piece is uploaded by request of AwfulClyde, who wanted to hear a comparison of Salisbury and Hereford.
Pete, it was with SPECIAL PLEASURE that I did this for you! THANKS for being a GREAT friend! :-)
I have a grand and spooky "early" Rowley coming VERY soon! ;-)
MORE Rowley to come... :-)