Frédéric Chopin is without a doubt the composer whose work was the most deeply inspired by the piano and so completely dedicated to it. No other composer contributed as much to the technique and the style of modern piano and to its emancipation as a soloist’s instrument : new fingering figures (spacing, extreme rapidity) , contrasting colors and sonorities, legato-staccato, dynamics, and the use of the pedal were highly refined, and at the same time integrated with poetic and melodic dimensions of extreme beauty.
Whereas elsewhere in Europe the Restoration was suffocating all hope of artistic innovation, many artists went to Paris, drawn by the romantic movement in the wake of the revolution of 1830. Their motto was to break down the old, stilted forms of (neo)classicism in favor of subjective sensibility. But Chopin was unconcerned with abstract ideals. He lived instinctively and intimately the romantic values of his time by simply developing his own personal style. Felix Mendelssohn, Robert Schumann, and Franz Liszt (to whom Chopin dedicated the first book of his studies) all met Chopin and immediately recognized in him the young genius who would soon triumph in the salons of Paris.