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Meditation on "Conditor alme"

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Uploaded by: Agnus_Dei (12/05/16)
Composer: Rowley, Alec
Sample Producer: Milan Digital Audio
Sample Set: Salisbury Cathedral Father Willis
Software: Hauptwerk
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. As a pianist he often broadcast duets with Edgar Moy. He died on 11 January 1958.

Many of his organ solos are brief and simple: chorale preludes, genre pieces, toccatas, marches and voluntaries suitable for the small organ and less experienced player. Sometimes he brought out more ambitious recital pieces, like the Heroic Suite of 1921, the Sonata in A minor and two symphonies in B minor and F major published late in his life, but we do not encounter these nowadays.

"Meditation on 'Conditor alme'" comes from the Novello series of "Festal Voluntaries" (Advent), and was published in 1956. It features the same well-known plainsong melody that was used in another recent upload:

Rowley's setting is very differentfrom that by Peeters', but it is mystical and flowing, and creates it's "effects" with "conventional harmonies," but used in Rowley's own, unique way.

The text, speaking of the "stars of night" is portrayed in a gentle and distant way, as the dynamics and colors are soft and changing throughout. No tonality lingers for long!

A photo of Alec Rowley is attached below.

This upload continues my daily presentation of at least one piece throughout the season of Advent, and continuing each day through the Feast of the Epiphany on January 6th.
Performance: Live
Recorded in: Stereo
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