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Lament for Kosovo : adagio for strings : string orchestra

by Betty Beath (1999)

Also known as: Beath, Betty - Lament for Kosovo

Score Sample

View a sample of the score of this work
This sample is from the Mandolin ensembles version of this work

Audio Sample

Performance by Katie Zhukov from the CD Six profiles of Australian women composers

This sample is of the Solo Piano version of this work

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Lament for Kosovo


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Lament for Kosovo : mandolin ensemble / by Betty Beath.

Version: This product features the Mandolin ensembles version of this work

Library shelf no. 785.7815/BEA 1 [Not for loan]

Display all products featuring this work (6 more)  

Work Overview

Lament for the Victims of War (previously titled Lament for Kosovo) was written for Adrian Hooper and the Sydney Mandolins in 1999 who gave the first performance of the work in that year; later their performance of the piece was recorded and broadcast by the ABC.

While writing this work I was deeply moved by the unfolding events in Kosovo and at the same time experiencing the sad fragility and decline of my mother. Previously I had written for the same ensemble Mikri Thalassa a piece which had been received with enthusiasm by musicians and audiences and I had this in mind as I set out to write the new work. However, the feelings that were uppermost in my heart and mind at that time emerged in what I saw as a 'lament for Kosovo and for the suffering of all those involved in such conflicts around the world'.

Because this new mandolin piece became personally significant I went on to extend and develop the 'lament' first as a piano solo, again titled Lament for Kosovo and later, as a work for string orchestra titled Lament for Kosovo Adagio for Strings. There have now been many significant performances of all of these works, nationally and internationally.

In 2008 the Lament for Kosovo, in its original form for mandolins re-emerged on concert programs. This followed Adrian Hooper's generous sharing of the unpublished score with the Director of the Providence Mandolin Orchestra, Mark Davis. He has, since that time, intorduced the work to American audiences and included it in programs performed on tour in France and in the Nederlands where the Providence Mandolin Orchestra collaborated with the Het Consort whose Director is Alex Timmerman.

Work Details

Year: 1999

Instrumentation: Scored for a string orchestra comprising violins 1 & 2, viola, cello, double bass.  The numbers of string players will vary according to the string orchestras or string ensembles who perform the work.

Duration: 8 min.

Difficulty: Advanced

Commission note: This work grew out of a commissioned piece 'Lament for Kosovo' which I wrote for The Sydney Mandolins in 1999.

Previously titled Lament for Kosovo.


Resonate article: Betty Beath at 80: I like to complete a work by Anni Heino


Lament for Kosovo
Lament for the victims of war

This work was written at a time when every day our television sets gave us images of refugees from Kosovo struggling in long straggling lines across vast, snowy mountains. Since then we have witnessed the horror of more and more innocent victims of war, people of many, many races and religions who are forced to endure hardships that we can hardly imagine. It seemed that I must change the title of the work to include them all.

Performances of this work

5 Aug 2018: at the Bourbaki Ensemble: war and peace: music for strings (St Stephen's Church, Newtown). Featuring David Angell, Bourbaki Ensemble.

6 Nov 2014: at FRIEDENS-KONZERT (Wiener Konzerthaus). Featuring Frauen-Kammerorchester von Osterreich.

10 Sep 2009: at Katie Zhukov (Nickson Room). Featuring Katie Zhukov.

12 Nov 00: Public Schools Charity Committee's annual Celebration Concert, Sydney Opera House.. Featuring Wendy Huddleston, Armidale Connection.

17 Sep 00: Recital program celebrating the work of Australian women composers at the Queensland Art Gallery.. Featuring Jenni Flemming.

2 Jul 00: Hunters Hill Music, Town Hall, Alexandra Street, Hunters Hill. Featuring Sydney Mandolins, Adrian Hooper.

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