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 one, the "Voluntary on 'St. Albinus,'" is the second of the "Closing Voluntaries" in the collection.
In this piece, you hear almost only the reeds (with a few diapasons thrown in at spots). This great tune, is another Easter hymn composed by Henry J. Gauntlett (1805-1876) is widely known in England, and sung with the text, "Jesus lives! Thy terrors now" This one is well-known in both the UK and the US. Gauntlett also composed the beloved tune, "Irby" which is linked to "Once in royal David's city."
The reeds are not as big as a Willis tuba, but they MORE than get the job done!
This the "real" and not the "extended" version of the sample set.
The score is attached below, as well as photos of Rowley and Gauntlett.