forbidden wedding II
The piece called forbidden wedding II is not in any way a sequel to, or extension of, forbidden wedding (for daniel) from friends suite: a touch of clazz II (2001). This is a far longer solo piano piece (711 bars) completed in 2007. At first, Reddy called it ‘candle in the wind’ because it begins with the 1997 song by Elton John in commemoration of Princess Diana’s death, and on one of the copies Reddy printed out he wrote, ‘a tribute to Diana, a modern-day saint and Elton, who did+does so much for music and for our liberation’. His dedication ‘to one of my favourite students: Volker’ is also given on this copy. After Reddy worked on it from November 2005 to June 2007 the piece evolved from Elton John’s accompanying figure, through variations on ‘Amazing Grace’ to a ‘clazz’ section that quotes from Brahms’ ‘Lullaby’ (bars 383-416). Then comes a quote from Bach’s 1st solo Cello Suite combined with Elton John’s tune (433-469), and after an excursion through Chopin (513-555), ‘Amazing Grace’ appears again (556-592). From bar 593 onwards Reddy combines ‘Swing Low, Sweet Chariot’ with the Zimbabwean mbira tune, ‘Nyamaropa’ (which he had used extensively in a much earlier piece from 1994 called The Friendly Dragon); and then, in the last bars, Reddy writes a gospel bass riff that plays until the words ‘gospel version of swing low’ mark the end of the piece (so far). In other words, the ‘final’ version of the score isn’t final at all. As with the berceuse for filip and phlore, Reddy’s ending is both an invitation and a disclaimer.
This ACE publication presents forbidden wedding II as is, with minimal editing to make notes and annotations clearer; if there are spelling or notation errors these are the product of a composer working at frantic speed. It not only has an incomplete ending but ‘notes to self’ at various points about other possible changes; and like other later works, it requires the pianist to improvise at certain points, which Reddy himself would find easy to do – and in the same style as the rest of the score – but which requires much more from anyone else. The first recording below is of the first part of the work up to bar 554, the second is a live performance by Reddy dated 26 June 2007, of the last section, from bar 593 “Swing Low’, onwards.