The four Polish Dances
, Op 58, were composed when Scharwenka was at the height of his creative power, following on from the success of his second piano concerto at the beginning of 1881. In contrast to his earlier works in this genre, these pieces are more substantial, with a greater use of chromatic harmonies and more advanced modulations, and the overall development of the thematic material shows greater maturity. Although Scharwenka was not the ardent nationalist as typified by Paderewski, there is perhaps a passing tongue-in-cheek reference to the Polish anthem in the last piece of this set.
from notes by Martin Eastick © 1992