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Beauty Broken

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Nicole Piunno

Nicole Piunno

General Info

Year: 2015
Duration: c. 10:00
Difficulty: V (see Ratings for explanation)
Publisher: Murphy Music Press
Cost: Score and Parts (print) - $185.00   |   Score Only (print) - $50.00


Full Score
Flute I-II
Oboe I-II
Bassoon I-II
B-flat Soprano Clarinet I-II-III
B-flat Bass Clarinet
E-flat Alto Saxophone I-II
B-flat Tenor Saxophone
E-flat Baritone Saxophone
B-flat Trumpet I-II-III (III div.)
Horn in F I-II-III-IV
Trombone I-II-III
Percussion I-II-III-IV-V, including:

  • Bass Drum
  • Bells
  • Brake Drum
  • Chimes
  • China Cymbals
  • Crash Cymbals
  • Crotales
  • Glass sound (optional)
  • Marimba
  • Sizzle Cymbal
  • Snare Drum
  • Splash Cymbal
  • Suspended Cymbal (small, medium and large)
  • Tam-Tam
  • Temple Blocks
  • Tom-Toms (4)
  • Vibraphone
  • Xylophone


None discovered thus far.

Program Notes

I visited the Columbus Museum of Art in the winter of 2014 and met a work titled “Blow Up #1” by Ori Gersht. This work captured my attention and insisted I give it a great amount of thought. Gersht used high-speed photography to capture a moment in time of an arrangement of flowers exploding. In that one short moment Gersht captured a profound truth about this world and the human condition.

At first sight the photo looked amazing. It was beautiful and exciting. Yet when I looked closely, I realized it was beauty that was broken. The photo was a visual display of the tension that exists between beauty and violence, or life and death. When I first saw the work, I was attracted to the beauty. Then I saw the violence and wanted to turn away. However, once I accepted both and was able to hold the paradox of these two realities, I was able to see the photograph for what it truly was. A sense of hope emerged as I felt a longing for beauty to be restored.

Beauty Broken begins with a chorale in the brass. This chorale leads into a celebratory section that ends in a state of brokenness. Alternating slow and fast sections follow this moment of breaking. These sections incorporate what I call the "Broken Theme". This theme is intense at times, while it is somber with a sense of longing at other moments. The chorale melody also appears at various times throughout the piece, often in subtle ways. This chorale becomes most apparent at the end as the woodwinds play celebratory flourishes over the brass chorale. Finally, the broken theme returns for one final statement.

- Program Note by composer


State Ratings

  • Texas: V. Complete


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