chaconne (no. 1 of four piano pieces)


Surendran Reddy Performing Edition

Reddy’s four piano pieces were composed around the year 1980, one by one, and only later collected together as a set. chaconne was written first, and is a strict ground bass, written on three staves like a trio sonata, begun c1978 and completed c1981. The score presented here is a facsimile of Reddy’s manuscript. There are 26 pages of ‘Notes for Chaconne’ amongst his papers, which are saved together with four handwritten memos, one of which is addressed to ‘Anthony’ and apologises for being late home because Eliot Carter’s Piano Concerto was being played at the Proms. It was in 1978 that Charles Rosen gave a (rare) performance of the Carter at the Proms, and in that year Reddy was lodging with Anthony Milner, one of his teachers at the Royal College of Music. The ‘Notes’ show detailed preparation for what eventually became a three-page work of which two versions have survived. One is an autograph score clearly used for performance, because it has traces of the sellotape Reddy used to paste copies of his scores into a performance book. The other is a fair copy in black ink headed ‘Chaconne’ with ‘Berceuse’ written next to it in pencil. This is the version reproduced as the present facsimile score. On the final page of the autograph of the third piano piece, nocturne’, he lists the three pieces completed so far and for a date he puts ‘19?’ next to Chaconne, and so even he might not have been sure exactly when he completed it. The performance by Reddy shown below was recorded at the University of Zululand in 1982.


Live Recording
Surendran Reddy
University of Zululand
Heike Asmuss private collection