The six pieces in Gabriel Fauré's Dolly suite were inspired by the young daughter of the composer's friend Emma Bardac. The girl was born in 1892 and called “Dolly” on account of her small, delicate figure.
These pieces were composed mainly for Dolly's birthday or the New Year, and reflect the world as experienced by the growing child, from a lullaby to a temperamental dance.
The suite was not meant to be taken too seriously, as shown by the subtle allusions to his own music and that of others. Despite their simple basic structure these pieces, which soon became popular, contain numerous harmonic and rhythmic subtleties typical of the French composer – “children’s music” that is also well suited to adults.