Variations on “Adeste Fideles”
About this Piece
In 1902, Belgian-American composer Gaston Marie Dethier (1875-1958) found a New York publisher who specialized in church music for a work he called “Christmas: organ piece for an opening.” Dethier even dedicated the score to the memory of the publisher, Joseph Fischer. Also known as a set of variations on its recurring carol melody “Adeste fideles” (O come, all ye faithful), the 15-minute work balances restraint with youthful invention. Although much tamer in comparison, it is even reminiscent of Ives’s Variations on “America” as a piece wonderfully teetering between youthful and mature work.