Grieg is beloved for his lyricism which derives from Norwegian folk tunes and the Romantic tradition to which he belongs, and the striking, opening gesture of his Piano Concerto is perhaps one of the most recognisable in all of classical music. Based on descending seconds and thirds, it is but one sign of how Norwegian folk music was making its impact upon his emerging style and dazzling originality.Written at the height of the First World War, instead of writing music about the devastating power of war, Nielsen took the opposite approach with his Fourth Symphony.
It is a tectonic musical struggle between the forces of destruction and the inextinguishable will to live and culminates in one of the most uplifting and thrilling of all symphonic climaxes. Má Vlast is considered a paragon of Czech nationalism – celebrating Czech culture and history, the countryside, and, especially, its people. Though often performed as a series of independent pieces, it is unified by general topic as well as by specific musical themes. Vyšehrad depicts a castle overlooking Prague.