Theodore Presser, Carl Fischer, Boelke-Bomart/Schott/Mobart, Songs of Peer, and Warner-Chappell are distributors for Katherine's music.
A short lyric movement followed by a lively humorous duet with continual interchange.
'Aria' was written in 1982 as the middle movement of a Serenade for clarinet and string quartet. This piece was originally intended for adult amateurs, and its simplicity and lyricism have proved perfect for the cello.
In 1985 a cellist friend requested a companion piece, so I added the Allegro giocoso. It is a light, quick movement with bantering between the two instruments, and a few effects that only a cello can make.
Music begins to atrophy when it departs to far from the dance; poetry begins to atrophy when it gets to far from music.(Ezra Pound, 1972). Every few years I reread this to see where it will take me. This time it has resulted in a lyricalArabesquebuilt above a repeating pattern of 8+8+3… aCortegereminiscent of a sarabande… and a rather breathlessStomp.
Playful, lyrical piece in 3 movements.
When two violinists get together to perform with orchestra, it's usually a friendly celebration; a chance for colleagues who value each other's talent and skills to enjoy making music together. It doesn't happen very often, and there isn't a lot of literature to choose from. So, I began to think... if I were one of the players, I would want the piece to be grateful and warm, with lyricism and a sense of playfulness. This is what I have attempted to write.
The opening movement, after a slow introduction, focuses on two ideas; in the first the strings (or the piano), led by the soloists echoing and chasing each other, build a cluster of sounds by adding on notes above and below. In the second the soloists answer back and forth with arpeggiated chords. The rest of the movement grows out of these ideas with a harmonic and rhythmic debt to jazz.
The second movement contains an extended lyric duet for the soloists, accompanied by a muted countermelody and plucked bass notes. The third is more virtuosic with a driving, uneven theme in the solo violins propelled forward by the bass. It also contains a cadenza for two.
Paul Mori, Conductor, Baltimore Bach Ensemble.
Katherine Hoover has captured the best qualities of the classical double concerto and infused it with genuine freshness. Her DOUBLE CONCERTO is teeming with rhythmic vitality, lyricism, and inventive musical ideas. Quite simply it delighted our soloists, orchestra and audience alike.
Vartan Manoogian, Director; Philomusica
This is a wonderful addition to the repertoire. At last we have a new work to join our familiar Vivaldi and Bach. Playing the DOUBLE CONCERTO is a rewarding performance experience.
After intermission the second highlight was presented; the premiere of a new work by Katherine Hoover...The composer...said she wanted the piece to present two fine violinists who value each other's talents and friendship, playing with lyricism and a sense of playfulness. This intention was delightfully fulfilled. Of particular beauty is the second movement, the adagio - a sustained, singing duet for the violins with a rather Schubertian accompaniment in the violas, the cellos, and the sonorous pizzicato of the basses. The composition is a most interesting wedding of atonality and more traditional sounds and was very well received by the audience.
El Andalus, is the Arabic name for Andalusia, an area of Spain with an unusual history. For several hundred years in the Middle Ages under Muslim caliphates (spiritual leaders of Islam), it was a center of great learning and culture, and a gathering place for Christian, Jewish and Muslim intelligentsia of Europe and the Middle East. Robinson,* having seen an article about this, asked if Hoover might somehow imagine a piece about this center of tolerance and light.
Traditional Arabic music, both secular and religious, is a sophisticated art form which is mostly improvised on involved scalar and formal patterns. It makes use of quarter-tones and slides, as well as modal materials familiar to the western ear. Its influence is clear in Jewish liturgical music, and also in some Eastern Orthodox Christian music. Hoover combined some of this kind of melodic material with sections that employ western harmonies, and there are rhythmic and formal influences from both traditions. There are also timbral sounds that have their origin in eastern instruments. The piece begins with a snippet of Gregorian chant and quickly moves into material with roots in both east and west.
An intense and haunting fantasy in 2 parts, based on a 17th Century canon.
Sometime in the 1960's I came across a simple, lovely canon by Christoph Demantius (1567-1643) with a text beginning, "Da pacem, Domine, in diebus nostris..." ("Give us peace, Lord, in our time...").
Both the music and sentiment continued to haunt me, for I would occasionally use the piece in sight-singing classes, where it would be sung by vigorous young men the age of thousands who had been drafted to suffer and die in Vietnam and elsewhere. At some point I began to think about structuring a large work around this canon; one whose parts would all be related in various ways. This is the piece that developed from that idea.
The first movement's main theme grew from certain motives in the canon, but they are woven into this theme in subtle ways; they do not stand out. Since the second theme is derived from the first, those motives, though not obvious, are present throughout much of the movement.
The second movement, a fantasia, begins in a very quiet, pastoral mood, actually incorporating the sound (at pitch) of a mourning dove in the viola. As this section begins to fade, we hear a more open reference to the canon; this is quickly effaced by the rather violent material that erupts and dominates the next large part of the work. In the aftermath of this section the piano leads us to a quiet, thoughtful area where the canon melody appears in the strings in isolated, chorale-like phrases. Then, after a long section which binds together various aspects of the piece, it appears in the original canon form, to close the work.
New York Times, 1989
The most interesting of these [works by Ravel, Dohnanyi, Damase] was Katheriine Hoover's Da Pacem Piano Quintet...an appealingly intricate fantasy.
The Newark Star Ledger, 1989
...a violent, brooding work...a spiritual exploration of the need for reconciliation in a broken world. It is also an inventive exploration of the motivic and harmonic possibilities of the old tune...When the canon iis finally stated in full by the quartet, with soft comments from the piano, it is satisfying both emotionally and musically. The fragments come together making both levels whole.
The Charleston Gazette, 1991
Its balance and serene chordal planes and emotionally charged passage work was fresh and vigorous.
Allen Kozinn, New York Times, 1993
The program’s most compelling work was Ms. Hoover’s Quintet Da Pacem, a lyrical, flexibly harmonized piece that made a strong impression (at) its premiere in 1989.
Tim Page, New York Newsday, 1993
sumptuous and haunting
Nixon Bicknell, The Montclair Times, 1989
Hoover's Quintet (Da Pacem) is clearly a major contribution to the repertory by a contemporary composer.
Leslie Gerber, Classical Pulse, Jan 1997
...picked Hoover's Quintet (Da Pacem) as one of the five best recordings of 1996.
Leslie Gerber, Classical Pulse, 1996
...a stunning meditation on the Vietnam War based on a canon by Demantius. Brooding music, building up to a shattering climax and then returning to peace, it lingers in the memory and demands to be heard again.
I began work on this piece in late August 2001. Several weeks later, after the shock of the 9/11 attacks here in Manhattan, as I finally returned to work on this piece, it changed, as our lives had changed. It was as if a black cloud had settled over the island-a giant shadow. This piece became darker.
I finished it and put it away for some years. Then, when Marka Gustavsson, violinist of the distinguished Colorado Quartet, asked me about a viola piece in 2007, I showed it to her. The first performance was the result.
One movement, Cello Concerto based on Pueblo tale of Grandmother Spider who wove the world. One movement is based on the SW Indian creation story about the Spider who wove the world in her web.
There are many ways of thinking about the world. Mathematics is one. Anyone who has learned a second language knows that not only do words differ, entire concepts do as well. Music has its own meanings and structures, which cannot be reduced to words. Native American stories are another means of perceiving reality. Calling them 'myths', or implying that they are untrue or insignificant blinds us to a rich world of meanings.
Stitch-te Naku is a story of creation, and of weaving; of Stitch-te Naku, the Spider-Grandmother who wove the world in her web, and all of its features and creatures. As for weaving - we weave cloth, stories, plans; we 'weave the fabric of our lives'. And the Spider, creating her web out of herself, has many resonances: about creativity, and persistence...about a single source of creation.
Native American storytellers prefer to tell the tale, and let their listeners ponder the implications.
In my 'tale' I have presented Spider the creator; the weaving-creation of many elements, including birds and animal, and descent into chaos with the sounds of guns. This is followed by a song of mourning, then by renewal, as Stitch-te Naku dances, joined by her creations. Various Native American musical ideas have influenced this work.
Diane Peterson, Rohnert Park Press Democrat
The highlight of the program was the world premiere of Katherine Hoover's evocative and narrative-driven Stitch-te Naku... Based on Native American myths, the piece traces the spiritual journey of the world's creatures, who are given the gift of free will by Old Spider Woman, who creates the world with her web...Throughout the piece, Native American elements are woven in with unusual percussion, droning strings, and pitches that slip and slide... Hoover has captured the indigenous spirit without trivializing it. And she has created a work as silky and ethereal as a spider web itself.
Richard S. Ginnell, The Los Angeles Times 05/03/2000
Katherine Hoover's Stitch-te Naku was performed by the Long Beach, CA Symphony under the direction of Gustav Meier and by the Womens Philharmonic under the direction of Apo Hsu (04/29/2000). Both orchestras featured Sharon Robinson as cello soloist.
The main interest of the concert was a most ingratiating cello concerto by the West Virginia born composer Katherine Hoover called "Stitch-te Naku" a spider-grandmother of Native American lore who weaves all kinds of things into existence. Hoover introduces her soloist ingeniously, setting a wild pastoral scene and having the cello quietly play weird microtonal glides as part of the landscape until the full-blooded solo line bursts into view. Woodwind birds chatter with the cello, rhino-like brasses wail, and an insistent Indian dance dominates the last portion. The 18 (and) 1/2 minute piece works as a unified fresco of creation-with reminders of Ravel's "Daphnis and Chloe" now and then- and cellist Sharon Robinson handled it with real flair and a warmly reverberant tone.
Cheryl North, Oakland Tribune 02/29/2000
...another significant 'nature' piece animated the program: "Stitch-te Naku" for cello and orchestra, a 1994 composition by Katherine Hoover. Meant to tell the Native American tale of Spider-Grandmother who wove the world, with all its features and creatures in her web, it brimmed with orchestrated bird calls and chirps, animal voices, and American Indian-sounding themes...the melody lines...were intensely descriptive, but wordless ballads.
Its first movement Moderato -Allegro con Fuoco, opens with a soft, rhythmic introduction and progresses to an intense, lyrical Allegro. The second, "Cantabile", begins with a mournful theme in the lowest cello octave range and eventually moves into a dirge, with the strings singing over a slow, repeating piano ostinato. The third movement, Allegro molto con brio, is strongly contrasting with constantly changing rhythms, some playful sections, and a sort of "stamping dance" in the middle.
Peter Davis, The New York Times
Ms. Hoover's score repays careful attention; a dramatic three-movement scenario that drawsupon the individual sonorities of the three instruments to create an unsettled atmosphere of brooding disquiet and banked emotional fires.
Sylvia Glickman, American Music
...the Hoover Trio is memorable for its fascinating use of rhythm. It is a combination of lyric, romantic, sweep and drive, biting irregular rhythms, and gentle washes of sound. The three instruments are treated in solo, duo, and trio capacities, in all combinations. Piano tone clusters, ponticello and pizzicato string effects, inside-the-piano plucking, and string glissandi are all devices that Hoover uses in the cause of communicating her strong ideas, rather than as devices for effect.
Joseph McClellan, Washington Post, 1979
It is risky to attach the title "masterpiece" to contemporary work, but for Katherine Hoover's Trio, I think no smaller word will do. No serious collection of contemporary music should be without this record.