Prolific Czech composer of highly original guitar works.
His Three Russian Waltzes, Remembering Prague and Cry of the Guitar all feature on Bruce Paine''s CD Second Recital for Guitar
Three Russian Waltzes
Sankt (Saint) Petersburg
Sankt Peterburg (Saint Petersburg) is the composer''s tribute to the Russian city of the same name. In composing the work, Stepan Rak drew inspiration from images of the lavish palaces and lifestyles of the Russian Tsars.
The haunting mood of Kaygorod conjures up images of a remote and sparsely populated region of Siberia where a large meteor fell in 1908, devastating the landscape, flattening trees. The delicately slow opening and closing sections of the piece have references to wolves howling in the distance, punctuated by crashing chords that depict the meteor impact. The return to silence following the disaster is as if nothing at all of significance had happened.
See further information on the 1908 event here
Voronez is a weird and macabre waltz in the fashon of Koskin''s famous Usher Waltz, or in the words of the composer, "Like Usher Waltz!" This stand out, virtuosic composition gives the guitarist little opportunity to rest on his laurels!
Remembering Prague must certainly be Stepan Rak''s signature tune, a piece he is known to play in concert while reciting the poetry of Czech poet Vftezslav NevZaland - namely "Sloky O Praze" (Poem of Prague.)
Stepan Rak once remarked on having felt a strong link between the piece and the circumstances that brought about his visits to New Zealand. (Note the uncanny resemblance between the poet''s name and the small, southern hemisphere country!)
Cry of the Guitar
Cry of the Guitar is Stepan Rak''s tribute to the great Spanish poet and martyr, Federico Garcia Lorca. The name of the piece was inspired by the poem ''Guitarra''
Check out Bruce Paine''s interpretation of all the above works on his CD Second Recital for Guitar