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North Wind (for the First Day of Winter)

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Uploaded by: Agnus_Dei (06/21/19)
Composer: Rowley, Alec
Sample Producer: Lavender Audio
Sample Set: Hereford Cathedral Willis Organ
Software: Hauptwerk IV
Genre: Mid-20th century
Today, June 21st, is the First Day of Summer - or Winter, depending on where you live!

So, for equality of weather coverage I have one piece for summer and one for winter!

This one is the one for winter.

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.

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.

"The Four Winds" were published by Stainer & Bell in 1925. The first, "North Wind" is dedicated: "For L. D. Giobin".

This completes the set of all Four Winds!

It is based upon a quote from P. W. D. Izzard: "It was a fine loud wind which swept the sky clean in the night and sucked up the snow pools on the road."

It's a very brilliant and driving piece, a "French toccata" of sorts, but while mighty isn't really terrifying! It's a clean wind, pure and mighty, set off by the mostly modal harmonies.

The framing sections are all toccata, while the calmer central section is quieter, but never calming. You can still hear and feel the wind rattling your windows, until, once again, the rushing toccata returns.

The end is overwhelming. On the final page where it says "strigendo," it took just as fast as I could get it to go - which is pretty fast!

For sake of comparison, I invite you to listen to "East Wind", which is FAR less "healthy" than this one!

I dedicate this to my excellent friend, Erzahler! I hope you and all my Australian friends enjoy this, and have a great winter!

Incidentally, I see that Australia is getting snow, so, THIS should help to stir a bit more!

The score and a photo of Alec Rowley are attached below.
Performance: Live
Recorded in: Stereo
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