Programme Note

Commissioned by the Presteigne Festival as Bouleumata in 2008 and premiered by Catriona Scott during the festival. Arranged for solo flute as Medea.

​Shortly before writing this piece I reached the final of a competition to compose the music for the Cambridge Greek Play, which happened to be Medea that year. Although I didn’t end up winning, Euripides’ play stunned me with its depiction of Medea, a woman who kills her two children to spite her husband Jason (who has just left her for a Corinthian princess). This piece was inspired by the wildly contrasting emotions that Medea experiences during a monologue immediately preceding the double-murder: that she can’t possibly go through with it, but that she must in order to punish her enemies. In one passage she says “I understand that what I am about to do is wrong, but my thumos (emotion) has vanquished my bouleumata (ability to deliberate).

© Cheryl Frances-Hoad, 2008