This is one of the works that I have been waiting for. I first heard of this piece in Philip Scowcroft’s essay on ‘English Composer’s for Amateur No.1: Alec Rowley’, which is published on the website MusicWeb International. Scowcroft notes that this work ‘s
‘Down Channel’ was broadcast on 31 December 1931 on the BBC: it was the work’s firs performance. The BBC Light Orchestra was conducted by Joseph Lewis. Rowley felt that it has ‘come through very well’ on a wireless broadcast two years previously. I found a reference in the Singaporean Straights Times indicating that the work was relayed to Singapore in 1935 from the Hotel Majestic in St. Anne’s-on-Sea in Lancashire. It was played by Jack Martin and his Hotel Majestic Orchestra.
The overture is an attractive work that cries out for a modern day recording. Certainly there are a number of other striking pieces in Alec Rowley’s repertoire that could form part of a ‘retrospective’ CD of orchestral music –these include the evocative sounding ‘From a Devon Headland’, ‘Miniatures in Porcelain’, and the above mentioned ‘Nautical Suite’.