(Composed and performed by Reynold D. Philipsek)
I did not grow up in a house where classical music was listened to. I came to that music on my own. My first exposure was to more modern composers like Ravel, Bartok, and Stravinsky.
I then sort of worked myself backward in time. Along the way I discovered Chopin.
Chopin resonated with me because he primarily wrote for his instrument in solo settings (piano) and he was Polish (as am I).
One of Chopin’s etudes is also called “Winter Wind” and I took that concept and applied it to this short piece for solo guitar.
Everyone acquaints December with the start of winter which, in Minnesota, can be long and brutal.
As much as musicians like Django, Monk, Joe Pass and Ravel have influenced my music, it may surprise some that Chopin has also been influential.
At first, when I was quite young, the attraction to Chopin was only due to the fact that he was Polish and I too have that heritage. In fact, it was a language my grandparents spoke. Later, I became very attached to his solo piano works. The Scherzos and Ballades especially caught my attention though the Etudes, Sonatas and Mazurkas also rate high with me.
Many of my solo guitar pieces (especially on the album Quintessence) are my humble attempts at applying my impressions of Chopin to plectrum guitar.