Berserkers were special warriors common to the Vikings and the ancient Celtic tribes who would work themselves into a frenzy with mead, mushrooms and hyperventilation to achieve performances of ferocious courage in battle. Although deadly in combat, the berserking process was paradoxically a suicidal one since, having lost their senses, they were vulnerable to a more stealthy attack. The initial burst of inspiration for this work came in 1989 after watching a soccer game in which Celtic Glasgow turned in a characteristically passionate, frenzied but ultimately futile display against Partizan Belgrade. But whatever the genesis of the piece, it is essentially abstract. The relationship between soloist and orchestra changes from section to section. In the opening fast music they are in argument and opposition most of the time, each striving to dominate. In the slow middle section the piano is very much to the fore and in the final quick section they become equal partners.