Tuesday, March 6, 2018

English suites and others no. 27

Gabriel Fauré was a pupil of Saint-Saëns. His Dolly Suite is a fine example of the perfectly French lightness and delicacy with which he composed.

Dolly was the nickname of the small daughter of the woman whom Fauré was seeing extracurricularly, shall we say. Fauré originally wrote these as piano pieces to entertain the girl. Later, her mother divorced and remarried to Claude Debussy. Another tale hangs on that, which I'll get to.

The movements are Berceuse (0.00), Mi-a-ou (2.29), Dolly's Garden (4.48), Kitty Waltz (7.57), Tenderness (11.23), and The Spanish Step (15.27). You may think you see cat references in these titles. You do not! "Mi-a-ou" was Dolly's early attempt to say the name of her brother Raoul, and Kitty was the name of their dog.

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