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This is a suite of seven contrasting pieces setting to music scenes from the much loved Russian folklegend The Sea King’s Daughter.
The opening piece of this solo guitar suite, Sadko’s Zither, represents the hero playing his zither at feasts. In the course of such occasions he often finds himself distracted by beautiful maidens he yearns to court but knows he cannot, as he is poor. By the River Volkov represents Sadko playing his zither on the shore of the river he so loves while minding the fishermen’s nets, whereas Sad Song expresses his loneliness and wish to find a wife. Suddenly the Sea King arises from the river. Praising the wonderful music he invites the rather stunned Sadko to play at his Sea Palace, and leaves a gift of gold. Voyage to the Sea Palace is a stark and dissonant portrayal of Sadko’s desperate search for the Sea King’s Palace. When the ship becomes stuck in the middle of the Caspian Sea the sailors are fearful and suspicious. Sadko, sensing the moment, descends to the sea floor and soon discovers the palace gates. The Sea King Dances Up a Storm depicts the moment when Sadko plays his zither at the Sea Palace hall. The Sea King loves the music so much he starts to dance, in doing so creating a huge storm and havoc on the sea surface that lasts several days. Temptation and Return to Novgorod expresses the sense of longing and sadness when Sadko faces the possibility of marrying the Sea Princess and living under the sea forever, or returning to his beloved home in Novgorod. He falls into a dream and wakes up by the river Volkov, his decision made. Sadko’s Welcome Home - the final movement - is an imagined interpretation of the story’s ending where the hero returns a wealthy man and holds a celebration for all the town folk.
Dedicated to Aaron Shepard
1. Sadko’s Zither
2. By the River Volkov
3. Sad Song
4. Voyage to the Sea Palace
5. The Sea King Dances up a Storm
6. Temptation and Return to Novgorod
7. Sadko’s Welcome Home
10 Mar 2008: Performed by Bruce Paine
20 May 2008: Performed by Bruce Paine at All Saints Church Hall, Auckland
24 May 2008: Performed by Bruce Paine at Thursdays at Seven, Howick
17 Jul 2008: Performed by Bruce Paine at Salvagnac, France
22 Jul 2008: Performed by Bruce Paine at Bedhampton, England
30 Nov 2008: Performed by Bruce Paine at the Hamilton Guitar Society, Hamilton
06 Dec 2008: Performed by Bruce Paine at Alberton, Mount Albert, Auckland
05 Dec 2009: Performed by Bruce Paine at Alberton, Mount Albert, Auckland
13 Dec 2009: Performed by Bruce Paine at the Classic Guitar Society of Auckland, All Saints Church Hall, Ponsonby, in Auckland