As Grieg mavens are aware, the Lyric Pieces (66) often deal with subjects relating to nature, and stylistically many also augur the Impressionist school Debussy would usher in around the turn of the twentieth century. To Spring is both pastoral and Impressionistic, and also one of the composer's more popular Lyric Pieces. But it may be its wistful character and hints of the intimate kind of lyricism found in Liszt, and even in Rachmaninov (who was not yet actively composing), that have made this work popular.
To Spring opens with a highly imaginative depiction of waterfalls, as upper-register notes flutter and nervously fill the sonic landscape, their splashes and droplets surrounding a beautiful, somewhat angular main theme. While this melody has a winding but not particularly wide path, it also exudes an innate lyrical warmth in its rises and falls, a warmth that softens all edges and allows in a few beams of sunshine. Gradually the music builds, developing a head of tension, and then the melody takes on a more Romantic, more robust expressive manner, looking backward now rather than forward to Debussy. Spring has reached its flowering here, it would seem, and the music then fades quietly and the piece ends serenely.