Performed by the BBC Symphony Orchestra under Jirí Belohlávek, this is the first complete CD cycle of Martinu's symphonies. These works, which are major contribution to 20th century symphonic literature, are still undervalued. Spanning the years surrounding the Second World War, they capture the turmoil, hopes and fears of the composer and his homeland - a homeland that suffered unimaginable cruelties under the Nazis. At the end of the war, Martinu was the only major Czech composer of his generation to have survived. Though there are underlying currents of menace in the later compositions, the irrepressible Czech spirit survives, and is never far from the surface in these powerful and sincere works.