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 Noel for 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.
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