twelve songs for viola and piano


viola, piano
Surendran Reddy Performing Edition

Reddy wrote the Webernesque pieces that constitute twelve songs for viola and piano between 1980 and 1982. He describes in a programme note for a performance of some of these fragments that they are called songs ‘because they were originally conceived as lyrical effusions for the piano treated as an expressive voice’. His programme note is included at the end of the score, although it only sheds light on songs 1-2 and 10-12 which are for piano, and not on nos. 3-9 which are for viola and piano. They were written for two fellow students with whom Reddy was very close during his studies at Kings College, London: violist Anne Draffin and composer-pianist Keith Burston. The 12 fragments are carefully worked out as a set, with proportional relationships between each song and the whole set, and between duration and pitch, somewhat cryptically laid out in the ‘Ordinal Distribution’ hints given after Song 3 and the chart after Song 9.