French organist and composer, Marcel Dupré (1886-1971) is also remembered as a significant pedagogue. However, his prominence within the Organ repertoire remains absolute with sublime works, including his Variations On A Noel.
Dupré studied at the Paris Conservatoire with Louis Vierne and Charles-Marie Widor, where he won prizes for Piano, Organ and fugue, as well as the Grand Prix de Rome. He was a famous Organ virtuoso and was able to perform the entire works composed for the instrument by J. S. Bach from memory. Dupré’s Op.20, the Variations On A Noelfor Organ was composed in 1922. It is based on an old Noel (Pastorale) in D minor. The variations displays contrast through tonality, rhythm, timbre and harmony, among other aspects. Dupré’s compositions and didactic works remain important to organists today and his Variations On A Noel is no exception.