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.
The tune, "St. Clement," is one of the most loved hymns, but also one of the ones that is most often derided. The former Archbishop of Canterbury, Cosmo Gordon Lang labelled it as "a feeble waltz tune." His disdain not withstanding, the melody, along with the emotional text, speaking of empires - earthly and heavenly is a classic.
The tune was composed by the Rev. Clement Cotteril Schofield (1839-1904) and the text by the Rev. John Ellerton (1893).
Rowley's setting, published in 1952 utilizes the tune in a colorful and non-sentimental manner. The harmonies and key centers shift and change, perhaps to signify the passing away of earthly things.
This is also my first upload on the fine and complete Armley Schulze. The sound is quite different from an English organ, and this upload shows some (perhaps too many) of the softer colors of the organ.
All the changes made in the performance could be recreated on the real organ. This is the "full" (realistic) version, and not the "extended" one.
The text is given in full at the first comment.
The score is attached below, as well as the now famous Rowley photo, as well as photos of Clement Schofield, and John Ellerton.
More Armley and more Rowley (here and elsewhere) to follow!