The Gardens of Gregynog, Tregynon, Newtown, Powys
Nicholas Daniel, oboe
Windflower was written to accompany Benjamin Britten’s Six Metamorphoses after Ovid for solo oboe. The task was to write a piece based on another of Ovid’s tales that Benjamin Britten had not use for his set. Instead I used Ted Hughes’s own brilliant Tales of Ovid as a point of inspiration and chose ‘Venus and Adonis’. At the end of the tale, at the point of Adonis’s brutal slaughter by a wild boar, Venus rips her hair and clasps at her skin, holding Adonis to her chest as he dies whilst screaming to the Fates. His blood splatters to the floor and she hails that it will bloom into an immortal flower. Pouring nectar into his mangled body, his blood begins to seethe. Soon after there stands a delicate, bright, blood-coloured flower. Its life is brief – the petals fall at the first breeze of the wind that flows over them. Windflower is its name.
I wanted to show the passionate wailings of Venus coupled with the unstable, flowing nature of the Windflower.
Windflower is dedicated to Nicholas Daniel.
© 2016 Mark Simpson