French Romantic composer and pianist Emmanuel Chabrier was born in Ambert on 18 January 1841. He studied law and worked in the French Ministère de l'Intérieur, but his passion was music, and by 1880 he had given up his job to concentrate on composition.
He's known mainly for two orchestral pieces - España and Joyeuse marche, but also wrote a series of operas and operettas, including L'étoile, Gwendoline and Le roi malgré lui, and piano works and songs.
He was associated with some of the leading composers, writers and painters of his time.
Chabrier died in Paris on 13 September 1894, aged fifty-three.
CD Spotlight. A Quintessentially French Bestiary - French songs by various composers, heard by Gerald Fenech. 'Ducks, peacocks, pigs, butterflies, dromedaries, carp, cicadas and owls are just some of the creatures in the menagerie assembled for this recording.'
Profile. Spanish Rhythms - George Colerick describes how Emmanuel Chabrier was in sympathy with the new spirit of his age, opening up new directions which later composers would follow
CD Spotlight. Puckish Effervesence - A piano recital by Stephen Hough, heard by the late Howard Smith. '... music from the sublime to the Antipodean.'
CD Spotlight. Uniquely Peculiar - French music for brass and piano, heard by Gerald Fenech. 'Careful attention to the music's slightest details means the interpretive aspect is consistently special and charismatic.'
Ensemble. Mellow Lyricism - Chabrier, Tchaikovsky, Rakhmaninov and Dukas from Alexandra Dariescu, Jamie Phillips and the Hallé Orchestra, heard by Mike Wheeler
Ensemble. Wonderfully Frivolous - Chabrier's 'L'Etoile' at Covent Garden, recommended by Alice McVeigh
Ensemble. An Interesting Idea - Opera North's 'From Paris with Love', reviewed by Mike Wheeler
CD Spotlight. Brisk Tempi - Neeme Järvi conducts Chabrier, heard by Stephen Francis Vasta. 'Rhythms could often be more strongly marked and firmly grounded ...'
CD Spotlight. Coruscating Brilliance - Spanish inspirations for two pianists, heard by Robert Anderson. '[A] joyous recital ...'
Ensemble. The Real Thing - Spanish music from the Hallé Orchestra, reviewed by Mike Wheeler
Ensemble. Wonderful music - Chabrier's 'Le Roi malgré lui' at Lyons Opera, reviewed by Robert Hugill