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.
These 9 brief voluntaries will be not only to continue my "Rowley Riot," but also to demonstrate some of the colors on the now complete, and recently released Armley Shulze organ. I had a chance to play this organ in the 1980's, but that was before the complete and spectacular restoration was done.
The group of nine pieces are divided into "Opening" and "Closing" Voluntaries. They are conceived for manuals only (although I did the odd pedal note at times), and would be great "learning pieces," or an excellent first exposure to playing the works of Rowley.
This, the first, is based on the tune, "Winchester Old" the famous melody that we sing with the Christmas text, "While Shepherds watched their flocks by night," although this doesn't sound too much like a Christmas carol!
In this upload, you'll hear the strings of the Swell, interacting with the soft stops of the Great and Choir.
This is the "real" and not the "extended" version of the sample set.
A photo of Rowley is attached, as well as the score.