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.
Rowley was a superb teacher, who did much to assist the student. Unfortunately, this labeled him as a "writer of children's music" in the eyes of some.
He was a fine organist, have gained his FRCO by the time he was 16. His largest organist position was at St. Alban's, Teddington, a large and important church.
"The Four Winds" were published by Stainer & Bell in 1925. The third, "East Wind" is dedicated: "For G.(eorge) D.(orrington) Cunningham" (1878-1948), who was a well-known concert organist, Organist of Birmingham Town Hall.
This is the third of the four winds that I've done. I think this one is unquestionably the hardest of the group.
It is based upon a quote from Joseph Conrad (1857-1924): "His weapon is a dagger carried under a black cloak when he goes out on his unlawful enterprises." These words tell you EVERYTHING about this piece...
The east wind has been described as an "assasin's wind." The east wind always brings danger and a change for the worst.
This "East Wind" is an unrelenting piece of danger, terror, and violence. It never once lets the performer or listener relax, as there is no refuge or safety. Evil is ALWAYS in pursuit...
I think this is one of my most dramatic uploads, and the Hill delivers everything you could want in terms of sound.
For some historic notes on the east wind, see FIRST COMMENT.
I dedicate this to ALL faithful listeners of the still-ongoing Rowley Riot! My SINCERE THANKS to you. :-)
The score is attached below, as well as photo of Rowley, one of Conrad, several of G. D. Cunningham and one of the great organ of Birmingham Town Hall.