Enter your username and password

Forgotten your username or password?

Your Shopping Cart

There are no items in your shopping cart.


Threnody for Chernobyl : variations on a twelve tone theme, for solo guitar

by Richard Charlton (1986)

Audio Sample

Performance by Tim Kain from the CD Anthology of Australian music

Anthology of Australian music

Out of Print

This item is out-of-print. We regret that it cannot be purchased from the Australian Music Centre.


Anthology of Australian music : Kain.

Library shelf no. CD 52 [Available for loan]

Australian guitar solos


This item may be available to purchase from the Australian Music Centre.
Please contact our Sales Department to confirm pricing and availability.


Australian guitar solos / edited by Richard Vella.

Library shelf no. 787.84/AUS 1 [Available for loan]

Work Overview

The "Threnody" was written in 1986 about the events that year in Chernobyl. It was originally commissioned by Timothy Kain for the Canberra School of Music's Bicentennial Recording project, the "Anthology of Australian Music on Disc".

Rather than being an actual description of a nuclear disaster it is more a lament & a commentary on man's technology out of control!

It is subtitled "Variations on a Twelve Tone Theme" but the Row is treated tonally rather than atonally. The forward stepping motion of the Row represents progress or technological achievement - the theme played in retrograde is more lyrical and humane.

Essentially the work is a struggle for control between these two aspects of the theme. The benedictory natural harmonics at the work's conclusion, writes Andrew Ford, "are eloquent in their sad implacability and remind us of Wilfred Owen's statement that - All a poet can do today is warn".

Work Details

Year: 1986

Instrumentation: Guitar.

Duration: 9 min.

Difficulty: Advanced

Dedication note: Dedicated to Tim Kain

User reviews

Be the first to share your thoughts, opinions and insights about this work.

To post a comment please login.