Thierry Deleruyelle: Cleopatra: Concert Band: Score
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The Last Queen of Egypt. Queen Cleopatra ruled Egypt for over 20 years. She is one of antiquity s best-known women, in particular because of her relationships with Julius Caesar and, above all, Mark-Anthony, but also because the cause of her death remains a mystery. The work is split into three parts and performed without breaks. The first section begins with a bright introduction representing Mark-Anthony. Dynamic in nature and reminiscent of military music, this characterises the Roman general. But soon after, another theme emerges, softer and more melodic, symbolising Cleopatra s femininity. The two characters then combine on a faster tempo. The middle section of the work depicts the love that Mark-Anthony and Cleopatra feel for each other. This passionate relationship lasted ten years and produced three children. This is expressed by a warm and intense theme, just like the beauty of the Egyptian queen. The third and last section opens in a determined and military mood. Mark-Anthony and Cleopatra were often apart, the Roman general was often away on a campaign. They met up in Alexandria to celebrate their triumph. But, as the targets of the jealousy and ambition of Octavius, Julius Caesar s son, the lovers are trapped and await the inevitable conquest of Egypt by the Romans. When Mark-Anthony heard the false news that Cleopatra had committed suicide, he ended his own life. The Queen of Egypt, for her part, was imprisoned shortly afterwards. The two lovers remain one of History s most famous couples. This piece was commissioned by the Wind Orchestra of the town of Antony, near Paris, directed by Philippe Rossignol, to mark its 90th anniversary.