Emmanuel Chabrier [1841-1894] was a French classical composer and pianist. Today he is primarily known as the composer of a short rhapsodic piece entitled España, for full orchestra, or for piano reductions for solo or four hands. España is notable for its sprightly stylistic effects, which have been influential throughout the 20th Century, in "pop" classical compositions (in the music hall), as well as in programmatic music for the theater, the movies, etc. The music of Chabrier's which survives in today's classical repertory suggests the "French Country Folk" culture of the later 19th Century, though Chabrier was, in his time, better known as a composer of operas--a form which preoccupied many composers of his day. I often think that the desire of composers to make successful operas (during this period) is rather like the envy novelists and poets seem to feel for playwrights. How many failed operas and plays have been the result of this misplaced ambition! But perhaps I am not qualified to answer this question. Certainly Henry James, and W. Somerset Maugham--who are both remembered more today for their fictions, than for any success in the theater--were comparative failures as playwrights--at least compared to their fictional efforts. Before radio, amplified sound, television, etc., live theater and opera provided one of the few ways of imaginative transport for the general public. A playwright or composer who could command the approbation of large urban audiences with live performances probably craved this kind of confirmation far above a silent reading public. In the 20th Century, Hollywood lured many writers, in the same way, with its easy money and veneer of glamor and celebrity milieu. It seems odd, thinking about the twists and turns of art and commerce, that a serious French opera composer of the late 19th Century would write the kind of music which would one day be used to animate movies, another popular art medium.
Other works of charm and effusive spirit are his Habanera, Bourrée Fantastique, Feuillet d'album, and the Fete polonaise and Nocturne (from Act II, and Act III, respectively, of his opera Le Roi malgré lui [The King in Spite of Himself]). As I've mentioned before, I'm not much of a pianist, but I loved once to play the Piéces Pittoreques. They're challenging even for the best of players, but they're so much fun you can't ignore them. It's hard to imagine anyone wanting to suffer through a piano work by Anton Webern, but cheerful compositions naturally draw you in.