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.
In 1932, Rowley published (Novello) the 2 "Plainsong Preludes." The second, "Paean" is a brilliant, rhapsodic work, that is FAR more "French influenced" than ANY other works by Rowley that I am familiar with.
Rowley does not "identify" the theme, but this is surely the famous "Salve Regina" that has set with such beauty, imagination and sheer energy..
The piece is dedicated to Nicholas Choveaux (I couldn't find his dates!), who was organist of the famous church of St. Bartholomew the Great in London from 1934 to 1939, and then again from 1946 to 1949.
If you're looking for an absolute winner that combines the grand English manner with the brilliance of the French school, this just might be the piece for you!
The score is attached below, as well as a photo Alec Rowley, as well as photos of St. Alban's Church, Teddington, where Rowley was organist, of the dedicatee, Nicholas Choveaux, and of St. Bartholomew's Church where Choveaux was organist.
MORE Rowley to come... :-)