Two Studies for piano
Lutosławski’s Two Studies for piano were written during the German occupation
of Poland. Their experimental nature can be seen in the choice of chords,
consistent in both Studies: Notes are put together in a way that the values
of intervals between them are selected in advance from among all possible
options. This interval strictness was a novelty in Lutosławski’s music to date.
Tried and tested in the Studies, it became a rule and was used in later
A lack of clear contrast between the pieces suggests that they may have been intended to become part of a larger cycle. The beginning of the first draws on Chopin’s Etude in C major, which suggests that Chopin’s etude cycle was a point of reference for a planned series. However, Lutosławski never completed it. After the war, his friend, colleague and piano partner Andrzej Panufnik “wrote it instead”, composing his excellent Circle of Fifths. 12 Miniature Studies for piano (1947).