Emmanuel Chabrier was a contemporary and a great admirer of the French Impressionist painters. Chabrier was enchanted by the rhythms and romantic images of Spain, which appear in some of his works. 

La Marche Joyeuse was originally written for the piano, but later orchestrated. His rhapsody, Espaņa, is especially famous, both in its original orchestral version, in his piano version, and also in the waltz adaptation by Waldteufel.

Chabrier was a virtuoso pianist, and his piano works reflect this, containing many virtuoso passages. These all form an important and integral component to the vitality of his works.