Medieval Suite

Katherine Hoover

Duration: 00:19:00
Publisher: Theodore Presser Company
Print Status: Rental

Quick Overview

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 valiant, violent British prince, barred from his beloved fighting 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.

Additional Information

Composition Date 1984
Orchestration Solo Fl.; 1(Picc.) 1 2 1 - 2 0 2(B.Tbn.) 0; 2Perc. Hp. Str.
Premiere November, 1989. Christina Smith, Flute, Reno Philharmonic


I Virelai
II Black Knight
III The Drunken Friar
IV Princess Isabelle
V Demon?s Dance

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