French composer Emmanual Chabrier isn’t much known these days, but he is represented in the standard repertoire by his intoxicating dance Espana. That work is one of the most compulsively joyful in its bright orchestrations, sparkling melodies, and effervescent rhythms in the entire classical music canon. This piece, from one of Chabrier’s less-performed operas (and none of his operas are often staged), is cut from the same cloth as Espana, being a five-minute burst of energetic dance.
From what I’ve read, Chabrier is a curious composer in that his work has never really cracked through into the mainstream of classical music, even though his music was greatly admired by great composers who followed, like Ravel and Stravinsky. Chabrier was innovative in his own way, and he may have simply lived too early and therefore just missed a time which might have been golden for his music. Anyway, here’s a bit of pure delight: the Danse slav from the opera The Reluctant King, by Emmanuel Chabrier.