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Toccata (Moto Perpetuo)

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Uploaded by: Agnus_Dei (09/13/19)
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 forced to leave his position.

Since Rowley was no longer a "performing organist," I think it's possible that many of his later works received few performances.

"Toccata (Moto Perpetuo") was published by Novello in 1951 as No. 209 in its "Original Compositions (New Series)." It is dedicated: "To Professor J. A. Westrup."

The work is, as the title implies, always on the move, although there are few "breathes" here and there, and I "observed" these, rather than trying to "force it through."

The passagework is "sticky" especially since the persistence throughout. I've observed Rowley's phrasing, but some of the slurs are almost impossible to adhere to, as you'd need an extra finger or two to keep the legato. However, I think the "larger phrases" are maintained in the way that I played it.

The style, shape, and harmonic usage is all Rowley, and the conclusion of the grand crescendo, over a pedal point, building right up to the sudden pause before the final concluding chords is dramatic and effective.

The score is attached below, as well as several photos of A R.

As near as I can figure, there are only 4 Rowleys to go, including the BIG Sonata!
Performance: Live
Recorded in: Stereo
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