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Improvisation on "Eisenach" (Chorale Preludes - Four Seasonal Improvisations, No. 4 - Easter)

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A noble Hill organ, twice orphaned, finds a new home!

The proud organ, built by William Hill for St. Paul's Church-Burton-on-Trent almost 150 years a...

Uploaded by: Agnus_Dei (04/23/19)
Composer: Rowley, Alec
Sample Producer: Audio Angelorum
Sample Set: Peterborough Cathedral Hill
Software: Hauptwerk
Genre: Mid-20th century
Description:
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, have gained his FRCO by the time he was 16. His largest organist position was at St. Alban's, Teddington, a large and important church. It was during his time at this church that Rowley married and then divorced. Divorce for someone working in the church was not tolerated, and Rowley was ostracized by the parish clergy, and was forced to leave his position.

"Four Seasonal Improvisations" were published by Hinrichsen in 1948. The fourth, "Eisenach" is for Eastertide, the tune generally being associated with the text, "This hallowed, chosen morn of praise."

This all-too-brief piece is very typical of Rowley's style. The brief, but demanding opening toccata section, the rapid passing through of keys, the fragmented phrases, and the dynamic variety and changes in registration all show his compositional fingerprints.

The tune, "Eisenach" was composed by Bartholomäus Gesius, and adapted by Johann Hermann Schein. The English version of the text is given in the First Comment.

I believe that this COMPLETES the Rowley "chorale prelude" works, but there is still much more to come in the ongoing Rowley Riot, including the massive "Sonata".

In terms of "sound," the end shows the full organ with sub and super couplers, as well as the Contra Tuba, which is an extension of the Solo tuba (not used) in the Pedal.

The score is attached below, as well as several photos of Rowley, Schein, & some of the churches at which he served as organist.
Performance: Live
Recorded in: Stereo
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