Threnody (Trenodia) or “[if]… this is man” is a “lay” oratorio in five parts. The work can be performed also as a theatrical pièce where the spoken parts and the instrumental and vocal music take turns while accompanied by a bare and essential choreography. A simple dramaturgic path - somehow almost evanescent and oneiric - was built to form the spoken part, composed by reading a miscellany of poems and proses written by poets and soldiers who took part in the Great War or wrote about it (Carlo Emilio Gadda, Piero Jahier, Emilio Lussu, Paolo Monelli, Aldo Palazzeschi, Edoardo Sanguineti, Renato Serra, Giuseppe Ungaretti). The music was written by Pier Paolo Scattolin in 2017: in addition to the original material evocative echoes can be heard of some melodies sung in the “ordinary custom” of life in the trenches, during the alienating and often long pauses of the aberrant war activity. Threnody is not a commemorative “musical”, but a space in time and sound to reflect upon man’s acting. To reflect upon the soldiers’s reasons, reactions and visions giving way to behaviours significantly different from those of the high officers in charge, thus unmasking the squalid strategies of the political power. In this oratorio war is shown bluntly as an anguished sharing of negative experiences from the soldiers. Power appears totally alien to a logical interpretation of life and is represented in a tragical dimension of «monstrum».