six baroque suites
Surendran Reddy left Zimbabwe in 1978 to study early music performance practice at the Royal College of Music and King’s College London in the late 1970s and early 80s, and on his return – not to Zimbabwe but to South Africa, where his parents were by that time living – he began writing keyboard suites in the style of J.S. Bach, completing two in 1983, two in 1984 and two in 1985. In 2006, he typeset all six baroque suites in Sibelius, modernising the notation to some extent and adding tempo markings. He printed the cycle out and published it privately, with front covers drawn from William Blake’s illustrations to his poems, Songs of Innocence and Experience, a page from which is shown on the right. The suites outline a personal journey from ‘almost childlike naiveté’ (in Reddy’s words) in suite no. 1, through despair in suite no. 3, to ‘acceptance’ in suite no. 6. His preface to the whole set is given in this newly published score, explaining his compositional aesthetic of musical ‘time travel’.