The Garden of Forking Paths, Op. 11a

scoring: piano 4 hands

duration: c. 10'?

composed: 1969

dedication: for Richard [Rodney Bennett] and Susan [Bradshaw]

commissioned by Richard Rodney Bennett and the Anglo-Austrian Music Society


status: withdrawn, replaced by Fourfold for two pianos


premiere Purcell Room, Richard Rodney Bennett/Susan Bradshaw 25 February 1969
The suriviving performance score shows that the work was performed as a fragment at that time incomplete.



programme note:

(No programme note in programme for concert.)


other comments:

Regarding the replacemnent of The Garden of Forking Paths for piano duet with Fourfold for two pianos, the pianist Robert Bridge has written:

We originally played it for a Park Lane Group Concert and I believe he originally intended to revise an earlier piece that he'd written I think for Susan Bradshaw and Richard Rodney Bennett [The Garden of Forking Paths]. If memory serves me correct he then went to Hong Kong to examine for ABRSM and had some time on his hands and decided to write a new piece. But then he got ill and and the piece got more and more delayed and eventually we got the score about a week before the concert. (private email to Nicolas Hodges, 5 April 2001)

Indeed, the manuscript of Fourfold is written on manuscript paper sourced in Hong Kong.

In the 1990s Connolly stated he wanted Fourfold to be listed in Grove as "withdrawn for revision". However, having heard the 2014 performance by Antoine Fran├žoise and Robin Green, he found the work to function as intended, and therefore resinstated it. Thus Fourfold is his final version of the idea, and the only piece of the cycle which may be performed.