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.
If you have been a listener in my "Rowley Riot" series, than you have traced the transformations in his compositional style from a late Romantic to quite a modern (for the time) composer.
As I mentioned recently, I hope to start doing his larger works over the next few months, and I'm pleased to offer this jewel of a suite as the "first" one!
"Rustic Suite" was published by W. Paxton & Co. Ltd. in 1925. It is dedicated "To my friend Sidney Brown.", and contains five wonderful and highly contrasting movements.
(I could find no information about, or photos of Sidney Brown.)
I had intended to do these pieces on the Hereford Willis, as this has become my "favorite Rowley organ," but I decided to go with the Schulze in order to better bring out the rustic colors, and I think the choice was the correct one.
I have to "warn you" that most of this is "quiet" music, despite the fact that there are brief sections that approach full organ. The music will be best enjoyed listening to it during a "calm period" in your day, and following the score, which is attached will add to the enjoyment.
The amount of work that goes into "registrational detailing" is significant, but for me, this is the fun in doing this "type" of piece.
Brief musical notes and timings of individual movements are given in the First Comment.
The score is attached below, as well as the famous Rowley photo, and also some "rustic English countryside photos," to help put you in the mood. ;-)
I am grateful to those who listen, and am pleased to say that there is STILL more "Rowley Riot" to come!