With program music the composer uses music to tell a story or create an image in your head. Má vlast is a musical description of a river, the Vltava or Moldau, as it runs through Bohemia. Or as it used to run,because the fast part in the piece resembles rapids, which do not exist anymore.
Originally it was written for piano. One of the most recent recordings is by Ivo Pogorelich, a genius on the piano. You can find the recoding on youtube.
Sorry, back to Pictures at an Exhibition.
In the 70s they recorded a live concert playing The Gnome, The Sage, The Old Castle, Blues Variations, Promenade, The Curse Of Baba Yaga, The Hut Of Baba Yaga, The Great Gates Of Kiev and – not related but fun too – The Nutrocker.
Please get the record or – if you want to try it first – listen to it here:
Pete, I think you will like it too.
This is a perfect example, how music giants often seem larger than life, because they are standing on some other genius’ shoulders.
And I definitely have to see the Great Gate of Kiev.
Update: Smiles is correct of course, the Golden Gate.