Witold Lutoslawski was a preeminent Polish musician during his last three decades and one of the major European composers of the 20th century. In the political whirlwinds of the second half of the century he strived to remain as true to his art as possible, describing musical composition as a search for listeners who think and feel the same way he did—he once even called it "fishing for souls".
Two Studies For Piano consists of two expressive, virtuoso pieces full of scale and arpeggio runs, which require advanced technique and mature musical knowledge. Written in 1940-41, during Witold Lutoslawski’s early period, the studies clearly show the influence of Polish folk music, both harmonically and melodically, however, part of Lutoslawski’s art was to transform and embed folk music in his classical composition rather than to quote it exactly. Traits of Polish folklore remain detectable even when he turned away from the explicit use of folk music and developed his own brand of twelve-tone music.