Štěpán Rak (*1945) spent his childhood in Prague. At a very young age his artistic gift became apparent. That first brought him to the academy for graphic arts. In his teens, however, music awakened in him and he played guitar and bass in various bands. Consequently, he attended the conservatory where he studied guitar and composition.
He worked for a while as a guitarist and teacher at a conservatory in Finland. Afterwards he returned to Prague, where he became the first classical guitar teacher in Czechoslovakia at the conservatory.
In the meantime, he had developed considerably in terms of composition. His student Vladimir Mikulka brought Rak’s compositions to the attention of the guitar world. In those compositions Rak introduced many technical innovations such as the five-finger technique.
Stepan Rak’s Minutova Sola (Minute Solos) turned out to be a great way to pick up the thread of recording again after a period of microphone silence. It is a bundle of 31 small pieces, which is sometimes quite difficult for concentration, because before you are fully into the piece, it is already over. Nevertheless, they provide great material for playing moods and expressions.
The book is divided into three sets of ten pieces (except the last, which has one more). The first set contains moods, the second song-forms and the third dances.
I used the following publication for the recordings:
- Štěpán Rak Minutová Sóla, Bärenreiter H7236, ISMN 9790260100190