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Cleopatra passing


Live recording of Orchestra Musica and the Viotta Youth Orchestra conducted by Hans Leenders in The Hague in the Dr. Anton Philipszaal on November 27, 2010.

Think about this image, and you realise that Cleopatra passing must have been something quite different from just any other beautiful woman passing by in the street.
For undoubdedly when Cleopatra, this 'Queen of Kings' as she was called, thought it necesary to show herself in front of the crowds, it must have been an important, carefully planned and highly organised exposure of power and beauty.
Therefore under her supervision a very impressive show would emerge, more beautiful and more spectacular than anything ever seen before, and I am sure the whole event was meant to be something people wouldn't easily forget about afterwards.

For one thing we know for certain: on the rare occasions that this legendary woman, the ultimate combination of eastern beauty and sheer unlimited royal power chose to appear in public, she would definitely not come alone.

With everything about Cleopatra's appearance directed towards a grand display of power and beauty, there must have been around her a continuous grandiose and colourful performance of scores of servants, dancers, musicians, soldiers, wild animals and everything else you can think of.
In my imagination there was in fact a whole circus that would accompany Cleopatra.

She must have been quite a sight...

The music I wrote, symbolizes the passing of Cleopatra's royal caravan.

"Cleopatra passing" was written for Orchestra Musica and commissioned by the Fonds voor de Podiumkunsten.