three ‘paternosters’ for choir
In 2009 and early 2010, during the last few weeks of his life, Reddy worked on a mass in honour of his former piano teacher in Bulawayo, Anthony Walker. The missa gratias per antonius promised to be a joyful and immensely positive work, but sadly, it was left unfinished at Reddy’s death on 22 January 2010. The score in its incomplete state and the audio files that Reddy made of the various planned sections are available here. Among the most complete choral sections are three ‘paternosters’ (our fathers): ‘pater noster 1 in g major’, ‘pater noster 2 in D’, and ‘our father in f-bis major’ (F-sharp major). There is also a file called ‘idea – maybe pater noster’ that has some tantalising bars of music for boys voices, but the rest of the score is incomplete. Reddy worked on the three ‘paternosters’ some months before the mass itself, and they underwent different names. The third, ‘Our papi (the lord’s prayer for flute and organ of lutherkirche), text: God’, was ‘dedicated to ‘heike asmuss and God, and only to be played by her, for all eternity’.
The three ‘paternosters’ for choir, as ACE has called them and which were integrated into the missa at different points, are published as a group here, but can just as well be performed individually. Reddy wrote the music in piano (short) score and the harmonic progressions indicate that he had a basic SATB choir in mind, although there are passages that can only be sung ‘divisi’. Reddy wrote the words of ‘The Lord’s Prayer’ in full in No. 3, but he put only a few words or syllables here and there in Nos. 1 and 2. For publication, therefore, not only have vocal parts been created above the piano score but quite a lot of text has been added, too; it took some guesswork, at times, to make words and syllables fit Reddy’s more polyphonic passages. His preference for lower case is observed, as is his occasional use of upper case, with punctuation marks added here in order to help choralists navigate the many repetitions of words or phrases. Cautionary metronome marks are given where none exist, but no phrasing or dynamics are suggested.
No. 1 (103 bars) and No. 2 (127 bars) would probably work best with accompaniment, because the harmonies change so quickly from 3 to 8 or more parts and back and the voices frequently have to sing ‘divisi’; there are even a few notes out of range. Of the three ‘pater nosters’ No. 3 (39 bars) is the simplest texturally and would be the easiest to perform a cappella.
Reddy wrote ‘text by our Lord’ on the top left-hand of page 1 for ‘our father in f-bis major’ and ‘music by surendran reddy’ on the top right. ACE has applied this to all three pater nosters. No. 3’s dedication is written thus: ‘for samanmalee, in our moments of need and thankfulness’. About Samanmalee, Heike Asmuss says, ‘she is a friend of mine from Sri Lanka where I had worked for one year between August 2007 and July 2008. She was a sweet person and very religious (Christian). For Christmas 2008 she had sent us a picture of Jesus which Surendran liked very much. At that time he was very Christian himself, read the daily gospel, felt very close to Jesus and God’.
no. 3 of three ‘pater nosters’ for choir
no. 2 of three ‘pater nosters’ for choir
no. 1 of three ‘pater nosters’ for choir