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.
This work is taken from the composer's "Chorale Preludes on Famous Hymn Tunes, Volume Two." These pieces cover Easter and Ascensiontide. Since tomorrow is Pentectost, this is the last time to get this "correctly" in! ;-)
The melody is based upon the well-known (in England but NOT in the US) tune known as "Miles Lane". It was composed by William Shrubsole (1760-1806), and is always linked with the text: "All hail the power of Jesus' Name, let angels prostrate fall.
The words, written by Edward Perronet (1721-1792), for some time a close friend of the Wesleys, at Canterbury and Norwich. He afterwards became pastor of a dissenting congregation. At his death he is said to have left a large sum of money to Shrubsole, who was organist at Spafield's Chapel, London, the composer already mentioned.
This is a brilliant and imposing setting, well-suited to the feeling of grandeur and majesty. I've followed Rowley's "dynamic scheme" throughout, but I've "bumped up the level" a few notches, as I've made extensive use of the Solo tuba in the fanfare sections.
The work moves along, "changing paths" quite often, but it hangs together splendidly. In addition to fanfares, there's even a brief toccata section, that adds to the excitement and monumental feel.
I said above that the tune "Miles Lane" is not familiar in the United States. In America, these words are usually sung to the tune "Coronation," composed by Oliver Holden (1765-1844).
The score is attached below, as well as the now famous photo of Rowley, as well as picture of Perronet, the author of the text.
There is STILL more "Rowley Riot" to come! :-)