sonata for piano


Catalogue No
SR 010
Surendran Reddy Performing Edition

Reddy completed his sonata for piano early in 1979 while he was a student at the Royal College of Music, London, where he studied composition with Anthony Milner. It is his most accomplished and most extended early work, which he played several times in concerts in England, South Africa, and Zimbabwe between 1979 and 1985, during the course of which several recordings of it were made. One of them, made at a concert at the (then) University of Durban-Westville in 1982, is given below. The original manuscript is lost and all that has survived is a not very clear photocopy pasted into one of the A4  performance books from which Reddy’s often played his works in concert. A sample from page 1 is shown on the right. Even this 20-page copy of the score is missing pages 3-4 and 8 which have been reconstructed from recordings.

The whole sonata has been typeset for publication, and this is the version on sale. Duration: c10 minutes.

The work is a Webernesque serial composition in (effectively) three movements played without a break, with bars numbered continuously. An Allegretto in sonata form is followed by a long Theme and Variations that incorporates within it a mini slow movement (Var. 5a), a Trio and Scherzo (Var. 6), and two short Intermezzi at the end; the final movement is a ‘Fugue in three voice groups’, written on three staves. The tentative, sometimes playful mood owes much to Reddy’s admiration for the novel Watership Down by Richard Adams.


Live Recording
Surendran Reddy
University of Durban-Westville, South Africa
Heike Asmuss private collection