Dudley Buck (1839–1909) was born at Hartford, Connecticut and studied both at the Leipzig Conservatoire and in Paris. On returning to America he held a number of posts as organist and composed in a variety of genres. His Variations on ‘Old Folks at Home’
begins with a brief introduction and then a statement of the theme marked Andante patetico. The animated first variation runs straight into the second, a very quiet Poco adagio. The third begins as a majestic pedal solo calling for a pedal technique sufficient to play two-part harmony. In the final variation, the theme is heard in the tenor register below a lively descant, but the quiet coda dismisses these remembrances of youth, its chromaticism recalling the resigned mood of the theme’s initial statement.
from notes by Relf Clark © 2010