Lefébure-Wély was born in Paris, living and working there through the whole of his adult life and gaining the distinction of the Legion of Honour for his services to music. He began his studies at the Paris Conservatoire when he was just fourteen years old, and excelled both at piano and organ. He went on to be organist at various important churches in Paris, but he also established himself as a composer, writing music for the opera stage, for the symphony orchestra, for chamber musicians, for the salon piano, as well as for the organ loft. Much of his organ music is extrovert, even flamboyant, in the mood of the period. He had an advantage in this respect in that his composition teacher, Halévy, was famed for his operas rather than for anything restrained and sacred.
The Bolero de Concert is no exception to the style which has drawn organists who need some light relief to the music of Lefébure-Wély. It was composed to entertain his pupil Madame la Comtesse B de Mouzilly who was evidently an exponent on the 'Orgue expressif', the French species of harmonium. The Bolero is registered for this instrument which has separate stops for the treble and bass ends of the keyboard.
from notes by Ian Carson © 1988