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Chorale Prelude on St. Bride ("Have mercy, Lord, on me")

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Uploaded by: Agnus_Dei (03/08/17)
Composer: Rowley, Alec
Sample Producer: Lavender Audio
Sample Set: Hereford Cathedral Willis Organ
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. 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.

Rowley composed several sets of Chorale Preludes based on Famous Hymn Tunes. The first volume deals with "Lent," and it is from this collection that these preludes are taken.

The fifth work in the collection is "Chorale Prelude on 'St. Bride' (Have mercy, Lord, on me).

I found this piece to be appealing and unique. It is set "like a march," which uses the "march material" in between phrases of the hymn. It's immediately attractive and memorable.

The tune was composed by Samuel Howard (b. London, England, 1710; d. London, 1782) composed ST. BRIDE as a setting for Psalm 130 in William Riley's London psalter, Parochial Harmony (1762). The tune's title is a contraction of St. Bridget, the London church on Fleet Street where Howard was organist. The text, given in the first comment, is from "A New Version of the Psalms of David," by Nahum Tate & Nicholas Brady, 1698.

The work is dedicated to E. Stanley Roper (1878-1953), B.A., Mus.B. (Cantab.), F.R.C.O., to be Organist, Choirmaster, and Composer at his Majesty's Chapel Royal, St. James's Palace.

The score is attached below, as well as photos of Rowley, several of Roper, and of St. Bride's Church, Fleet Street.
Performance: Live
Recorded in: Stereo
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