Dolly, op. 56
A set of six duets for piano by the French composer Gabriel Fauré (1845-1924). In the 1890s Fauré enjoyed a brief affair with the amateur singer Emma Bardac, who would later become Debussy’s wife – this suite was written for her daughter Dolly. The pieces are typical of Fauré’s work; subtle, graceful melodies are key and the childlike simplicity is only skin-deep.
The elegant opener is the suite’s calling card, a classical favourite and popular encore piece.
A jaunty waltz that's lively but delicate.
III Le Jardin de Dolly
A beautiful wandering melody underlaid with soft bass arpeggios.
Dainty chords lead into a fast piece that uses extravagant runs to repeatedly swap the melody between the two parts.
A nice, lazy interim piece, again in 3/4 time.
VI Le Pas Espagnole
An animated dance with more rapid runs finishes off the suite.
Dolly was orchestrated by Henri Rabaud in 1906 and has been rewritten several times for solo piano. Classical guitarists John Williams and Julian Bream perform a fantastic version of the whole suite on their album Together.
My notes are based on the solo version, arranged by Lawrence Rosen and published by G. Schirmer.
Together can be found at http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B000003FDM/qid=1096564749/sr=2-1/ref=sr_2_1/103-0959683-4919021
The page includes sound samples of Dolly.