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Introduction and Variations on a Ground Bass

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Uploaded by: Agnus_Dei (01/13/23)
Composer: Rowley, Alec
Sample Producer: Milan Digital Audio
Sample Set: Salisbury Cathedral Father Willis
Software: Hauptwerk IV
Genre: Mid-20th Century
Description:
Today is my 68th birthday, so, I'm presenting this piece in honor of that day. This last year has been a very hard one for me, but, I can still do a piece like this in 3 days time, so, all is not lost yet. :-)

I THOUGHT that I had recorded and uploaded the COMPLETE organ works of Rowley, however, it turns out that there are still a few that I need to do. So, here is the next installment, and a major one at that!

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. It was during his time at this church that Rowley married and then divorced. Divorce for someone working in the church was not tolerated, and Rowley was forced to leave his position.

"Variations on a Ground Bass" was published in 1932 by Joseph Williams, Limited. It is dedicated: "To Archibald Farmer."

This is a monumental work which has all of the characteristics of Rowley's brilliant writing, both harmonically and compositionally. The arresting material of the opening returns again at the end. Be sure to wait for the LAST CHORD for a surprise to brighten the darkness!

I think this must be a very "rare" work amongst the works of Rowley, as I had never heard of this until very recently. As in many instances, I received the score from John Henderson. THANKS, Doc H!

The score is attached below, as well as numerous photos of Alec Rowley from various stages in his life.
Performance: Live
Recorded in: Stereo
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