BIENE, Aguste Van – The Broken Melody (1892) – for CELLO SOLOIST and CELLO QUARTET or with CELLO ORCHESTRA


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BIENE, Aguste Van – The Broken Melody (1892) – for CELLO SOLOIST and CELLO QUARTET or with CELLO ORCHESTRA

PDF 1 – Cello Soloist Part

PDF2 – ALL cello ensemble parts (cellos 2 to 5)




Soloist: MEDIUM to DIFFICULT. Orchestra: EASY to MEDIUM.

‘The Broken Melody’ was the most famous composition of Auguste van Biene, and comes from his own music for a play that he commissioned in 1892; it was a three-act play “The Broken Melody” in which a particular tune which was also called “The Broken Melody.” This tune, “The Broken Melody”, became an instant success, and the song is still remembered today. Audiences loved it, especially in the moment when the melody stops and we have a momentarily absolute silence! Van Biene performed it 6,000 times! It was even included in two early movies! Apart from this tune, the second act of the play includes a short cello recital by a cellist. Van Biene, of course in the starring role, varied his selections every night, often playing his own arrangement of Kol Nidrei. Critics named him the “Magician of the Cello,” since he played in a very emotional manner, and was able to completely captivate the audience.

It was published for cello and piano, but I believe it lays perfectly for an instrumental string version. Therefore I have made two new versions; one with cello soloist and ‘normal’ string orchestra (very easy for the strings!) and another with cello soloist and orchestra of cellos (or equally well cello soloist accompanied by a cello quartet, making a cello quintet). I feel that it would be very nice to maintain this piece in the cello repertoire after such a rich history!


to the marvellous Spanish cellist (and cello encyclopedia man!) Aldo Mata


So here is the result!   Enjoy the music!





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