PAPAGENA PRESS

Reviews




Dances and Variations
David Williams, The Charleston Gazette
Hoover's new Dances and Variations for flute and harp proved to be both tightly reasoned and beautiful...The finale brimmed with warmth. Hoover built a nearly seamless flow that fought against the variation form's tendency to lurch along in fits of starting and stopping. Here each new variation seemed to blossom out of the last idea in the old.


Divertimento
William Glackin, The Sacramento Bee
The Divertimento for flute and string trio, by Katherine Hoover, gives the firm, engaging impression of an interesting mind at work in a light-hearted way - a bit like Ravel in that vein, only a few steps beyond him in time, harmonically speaking. All of it was clear, easy to follow and worth following.

Thomas Warner, American Music
Deserves a welcome place not only in the flute repertoire, but also in the history of American music.

Irene Brisson, Sonances
La Divertimento est rebondissant et possede la verve francais d'Ibert et des rythmes alla Bartok. Par son brio et son ecriture solide, il apporte a ce disque un brin de fantaisie et de virtuosite.

Daniel Webster, The Philadelphia Inquirer
Katherine Hoover's Divertimento...is a work with tougher fiber, making the flute the leader of the quartet. Its tangy harmonic base gives the work an agreeable vigor.

Nathaniel H. Sperber, Musical America
Hoover's Divertimento for flute quartet, a well-structured composition, is both tonal and atonal. The work is both light, flowing, and pleasant; it has fine forward movement and is accented by tone clusters and by the percussive knocks of the bow-frog on the belly of the violin.

Hector Coda, La Nacion, Buenos Aires QWINDTET
El Divertimento para flautas y cuerdas de Katherine Hoover, es la obra de una compositora y una flautista talentosa, con una escritura instrumental fluida, de gran coherencia sonora y combinaciones armonicas y timbricas atrayentes, cuyo sesgo impresionista fue asumido con propiedad por los interpretes.


Double Concerto
name withheld
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.

Paul Mori, conductor. Baltimore Bach Ensemble
It delighted our soloists, orchestra, and audience alike.


Eleni: A Greek Tragedy
William Glackin, The Sacramento Bee
Eleni: A Greek Tragedy evokes clearly and powerfully the heroic story of a Greek mother who was murdered by the Communists during the civil war for smuggling her son out to join his father in America...It's a well-wrought, affecting work.

Robert McClintock, Sacramento Union
A powerful and brooding piece...Hoover contrasted the deceptive charm of folk music with her own contemporary harmonies. Her terse and often harsh sonorities drove the terror and tragedy of the heroine deep into the heart.

Carolann Martin, Conductor, S.E. Kansas Symphony
First standing ovation for a contemporary work in our orchestra’s history.


Kokopeli
Leslie Gerber, Classical Pulse
...a heart-stoppingly beautiful piece: Kokopeli by Katherine Hoover, four and a half minutes of magic capturing Indian legend and the vast spaces of the Southwest.


Lyric Trio
Michael Redmond, The Star Ledger (Newark)
Katherine Hoover is a leading contemporary composer by anyone's definition, and her Lyric Trio is a particularly attractive example of her work. This well-crafted trio, apparently inspired by the neo-classical tradition, is as remarkable for its accessibility as for its gracious solo writing.


Medieval Suite
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.


Night Skies
Leo Kraft, The New Music Connoisseur, "Considerable Orchestral Imagination"
The chamber music composer-flutist Katherine Hoover has been well-known for quite some time, but that she is an accomplished orchestral composer may come as news to many. It is good news, for the works presented on this CD are strong, assertive compositions written with considerable orchestral imagination. Of the works presented here, I like Night Skies best. It is a tone poem of some 25 minutes duration, in a single movement with many contrasting episodes and several effective climaxes. Despite its length, the work maintains its momentum and holds the listener's interest from beginning to end. Conductors who might be daunted by the length of Night Skies would do well to consider Two Sketches, whose combined length is just over ten minutes. Full of striking sonorities and rich orchestral invention, this highly accessible work would fit well on many an orchestral program. To fully appreciate the music of Eleni it is necessary to read the program note by the composer. The music is anecdotal and descriptive, so that the listener has to begin by learning the story of the heroic Greek woman whose sacrifice was recounted both in book form and in a movie. The program note explains the use of Greek folkloristic elements and indicates the overall shape of the composition. That done, the listener will find that Eleni is a dramatic and moving composition.

The Double Concerto is a mettlesome work, combining the two solo violins with the string orchestra in a variety of ways. The solo parts weave in and out of each other's space, creating an ever-changing texture the is supported, interrupted, and answered by the string orchestra. The performances by the Slovak Radio Symphony Orchestra under the direction of Joel Suben are first-rate. The Wisconsin Philomusica led by Vartan Manoogian does a good job but the driving force in the Concerto is the pair of soloists. Shame on our orchestras for not giving American audiences the opportunity to hear such fine music!


The Harrisburg Patriot-News
Inspired by the painting "Landscape with Stars" by Henri Edmond Cross, Hoover's piece opens with a vibrant smattering of distinctive sounds against a deep, slow and moody background. An array of intriguing percussion sounds and shining brass blends into the composition's mystery-laden second section, heralded by the evocative sounds of a Japanese flute. Hoover also includes a lovely flute solo... The final part grows tumultuous, with whirling winds and rolling thunder. It's significant that Hoover chose not to end her piece in the midst of her magnificent storm. Instead she brings it back around to end calmly and beautifully with the ethereal Japanese flute. Hoover's music mixes elements of old and new, in a masterful blending of a variety of sounds into a cohesive whole.


Quintet Da Pacem
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, 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.


Qwindtet
Leslie Gerber, Woodstock Times
Hoover writes superbly for winds. Her piece, in five movements, is beautifully constructed, and the plan the composer explained of using the same material. and changing its nature in three of the movements works well...it seems to have a deeper emotional resonance.


String Quartet
John Sutherland, Special to The Seattle Times, October 05, 2000
Colorado String Quartet impressive in series opener.
The UW International Chamber Music Series kicked off its new season this week with an extraordinary group of musicians. The Colorado String Quartet, while not as famous as some quartets, are the musical equals of any string quartet in the world. Having established its classical credentials, the quartet was ready to dive into something new, a string quartet written only two years ago by American composer Katherine Hoover. In reading the program notes about Hoover's use of Native American themes, one may take to eye-rolling. After all, who isn't influenced by such things these days? But hearing the music is another matter; there is no cliche involved in it whatsoever. It is an admirable, very visual piece filled with drama and originality. Most memorable were the "Hopi Lullaby" in the Adagio, a gorgeously peaceful section, and its manic opposite, the ensemble sextuplet runs, which showed off the precise coordination and just sheer dazzle this group is capable of.


Stitch-te Naku
Diane Peterson, Rohnert Park Press Democrat
The highlight of the program...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.

R. Ginell, 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. 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.


Cheryl North, Oakland Tribune 02/29/00

Review of Women's Philharmonic 02/27/2000.

...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.

Richard S. Ginnell, Los Angeles Times 05/03/2000

Review of Long Beach Concert 04/29/2000.

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 181/2 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.


Suite for Two Flutes
T. P. Carrabre, Winnipeg Free Press
The well-crafted Suite for Two Flutes, by Hoover, was impressive. The whirling motive of the Presto movement demanded attention.


Summer Night
Audio
SUMMER NIGHT is an apt description of what Katherine Hoover evokes in her lyrical, bucolic work that spotlights the horn and flute. It is engaging and thoroughly accessible.

Thomas Putnam, American Record Guide
This is a really good American piece, and its sound is open and pleasing.


Trio
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.

Joseph McClellan
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.

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.

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.


Two Sketches
Timothy Pfaff, San Francisco Examiner
Hoover's Two Sketches scored with immediate accessibility and an impressive combination of depth, maturity, and power...its title notwithstanding the pieces emerged as substantial and engrossing, and strongly contrasted compositions. The atmospheric nature depiction in "Winter Sands" was painted in highly specific and deeply saturated orchestral colors. "Turnabout", a palindromic exercise, is so deftly scored that its intellectual challenge is softened by its sensuality.

Paul Hertelendy, San Jose Mercury News
Katherine Hoover is far too skilled an orchestrater to be creating mere sketches; I've heard major prizewinners who have lacked her expressive flair.