From Katherine Hoover:
"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."
II. The Black Knight
III. The Drunken Friar
IV. On The Betrothal of Princess Isabelle of France, Aged Six Years
V. Demon's Dance
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