sonata ‘f-a-i-r-p-l-a-y’ [I]
The sonata ‘f-a-i-r-p-l-a-y’ for violin and piano was composed in 2007 as a 50th birthday present for Reddy’s great friend, violinist Michael Wiener. The piece is long and virtuoso, and was extended into an even longer version in 2009, which is why [I] has been added after the title of this 2007 version. It is 837 bars long, and the last Sibelius file Reddy worked on is dated 13 October 2007. (The 2009 version has 1275 bars.) ACE has reformatted some pages and systems in order to clarify the notation and make Reddy’s annotations clearer. Where Reddy writes ‘solo’, it probably means ‘improvise’. There are several musical references – a violin cadenza one quarter of the way through replicates the ‘Praeludio’ from J.S. Bach’s violin Partita in E major, for example – and there is the merest hint of the ‘happy birthday’ tune right at the very end.
The sonata is in ‘clazz’ style like most of Reddy’s late works. It begins with a slow introduction, and at bar 59 the faster tempo suggests the beginning of an exposition. The next passage includes an mbaqanga chord sequence. What makes this a sonata is its narrative style, repetition of material, and its grandeur. It reaches across many boundaries, not least of which is the sheer physicality of the music. There is no record of it being performed by Reddy and Wiener, but Reddy made an mp3 recording from the Sibelius file dated 28 July 2007, which is given below.
Surendran created F-A-I-R-P-L-A-Y in 2008 with seven of his best friends and supporters whom he wanted to thank for all their dedicated input in furthering his creative work. His vision for F-A-I-R-P-L-A-Y was to unite artists all over the world in order to facilitate the realization of their creative goals, without the financial and other hindrances to their work which they often experience. Michael Wiener has continued the work after Reddy’s death by creating the Fairplay Foundation. Its aims are to facilitate interdisciplinary arts meetings in Switzerland, to strengthen the freedom and status of the arts in society and improve the working and living conditions of oppressed and persecuted artists, and to collaborate with national and international organisations for cultural and artistic support, in the spirit of the Unesco Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions.