Memoriam for the Victims of Chornobyl

The opening theme is dark and ominous; it sets the tragic mood of the piece. Following this idea, I quote a sad but lyrical Ukrainian folk tune that describes a grave in the field begging the wind to keep it from dying and asking the sun to shine over it. The tempo suddenly quickens, and the music becomes very rhythmic, creating a rather chaotic atmosphere.  The music reflects the mechanical sound of the nuclear reactor.  The folk tune has taken on a different character here.  It no longer is lyrical and is supported by jarring harmonies.  The music signals the reactor’s first explosion at its first climax.  Following this explosion, the music becomes very quiet, and slows down.  Here, the folk tune essentially has exploded into little fragments creating a kind of pointillistic texture.  At this point, the music represents the invisible, yet fatal radioactive particles that are poisoning the atmosphere.  The tempo builds up once again, and the music moves towards the second climax signaling the second explosion.  Here, I quote a sacred chant from the Ukrainian Orthodox Church, asking God for forgiveness.

The Piece ends with the reappearance of the opening material, setting a mood that questions the future of our planet.

Larysa Kuzmenko / December 2008

“A Grave In The Field” - Ukrainian Folk Poem
In the field lies a grave.
It speaks to the wind: Blow wind gently over me, so I will not turn black, and die.
Let the grass grow green above me.
But the wind does not blow and the sun does not shine.
Only out in the steppe near the road the grass grows green.
In the steppe a winding river flows.
Over the river a bridge stands.
Don't leave me your true father, my Kozak friend.
Leave your father, you shall wilt and die, and flow quickly pass the Danube.
On that river no spawned fish appear
For eternity it took my friend.
In the river only algae grows.
It took my friend pass the Danube.