The Chronicle

We played this through a couple of times before looking what it was and it came over as an entertaining and lively collection of piano music. It’s got a real sense of energy about it; there’s nothing serious about this and no dark tones, and we half-thought it was a compilation of favourite piano tracks — it’s got the accessible feel of being much-played music.

We were a little surprised to see it’s the work of a forgotten (at least outside his native Poland) composer, and, listening to it more intently, at how complex the playing is.

Statkowski (1859-1925) was described as a successor to the Romantic styles popularised by Chopin. The virtuoso Polish pianist Barbara Karaskiewicz has championed her countryman’s music, and she’s a formidable player.

There are a number of works on here (23 tracks in all) with opener, Toccata Op33 being the most impressive piece of playing, according to the sleeve notes. There are also Four Mazurkas Op24 , and the delicate and graceful Immortelles Op19 . The CD closes with Six Pieces Op16 , again a demanding work for the pianist.

This collection will be enjoyed by proficient pianists, who can appreciate the complexity of the playing, and people who just like piano music; there’s nothing stuffy about this, and there’s a nice folky feel to it. We like how it works both as background music — where its energy makes it sound a bit jolly — and as listened-to serious music, where its complexity and general cleverness takes it to a different level.

—Jeremy Condliffe