Lefébure-Wély played for his first Mass at the age of eight and succeeded his father as organist at St-Roch in Paris in 1832. He was a good friend of Aristide Cavaillé-Coll and presided at two of his finest instruments – La Madeleine from 1847 to 1858 and St-Sulpice from 1863 until his death from consumption on New Year’s Eve 1869. His playing, which was noted for the effects he was able to conjure from the instrument, reflected the taste of the time. One German visitor in 1853 said, ‘He worked up a tremendously gay mood during the Mass on Sunday. In response to my astonishment over this I was told that the clergy as well as the congregation expect light-hearted music’. His Offertoire pour le temps de Noël
is very much in this vein. There are seven variations with the penultimate being, traditionally, in the minor.
from notes by Stephen Westrop © 1997