Four Winds considers breath as integral to flute performance through the depiction of winds at different times of the year.
The Medieval Suite was inspired by characters and events described in Barbara Tuchman's A Distant Mirror, a history of fourteenth-century France. It was a violent, bitter century of extensive wars, and Ms. Tuchman sees it as something of a reflection of our own. The first movement, 'Virelai', uses parts of a work in that form by Guillaume de Machaut, a French composer of that era. The "Black Knight" was a violent British prince barred from his beloved field of battle by a wasting disease. The fourteenth century was a low point for the Catholic Church with warring Popes in Rome and Avignon, and 'the Drunken Friar' was apparently a common sight. In this movement I have freely adapted and embroidered a Gregorian chant and quoted a well-known round of the time, 'Sumer is acumin in'. 'Princess Isabelle' describes a daughter of the King of France who was engaged at the age of six, sent to England to live permanently, and wed at twelve - a common fate for royal children. The 'Demon's Dance' was a desperate marathon dance done by some in hopes of avoiding the Black Plague.
Mark Crawford, Reno Gazette-Journal
A fine new work...The Medieval Suite realizes (its) inspiration in the language of Katherine Hoover, a language not to be confused with that of Aaron Copland, Walter Piston, or George Crumb, but equally as American as these. This is a short, uncompromising, sympathetic contemporary work.
Alfred de Jaeger, The Intelligencer (Wheeling, WV)
The highlight of the afternoon...Katherine Hoover's Medieval Suite is brilliant. Each of the five movements is exquisitely crafted, leaving the listener confident that a musical journey has taken place. Every note is placed with the same care exercised by an expert diamond-cutter, giving the work a discernable architecture which is very satisfying.
Norman Pickering, The Southampton Press
The writing is extremely imaginative and full of exciting instrumental passages displaying the composer's knowledge and skill...this is a major addition to the flute and piano literature, and every movement has a character and emotional impact that is rarely achieved in contemporary music.
Tim Page, The Washington Post
The program began with Katherine Hoover's "Medieval Suite," a five movement work dating from 1983 that was originally written for flute and piano. Hoover is herself a distinguished flutist, and so the idiomatic scoring for her chosen instrument came as no surprise. The suite itself has a stylistic diversity that is never merely clever; this is limpid, honest, attractive and appealing music, full of graceful melodies and the subtle "touches" of a natural composer.