Sasha and Dinu

“Sasha and Dinu”
composed and performed by Reynold D. Philipsek 2013 copyright
Zino-Rephi Music (BMI)

C Sharp Minor is a key that always puts me in mind and feeling of Slavic melancholy.

Slavic melancholy is a  condition that permeates a lot of music by musicians of that particular origin with myself included.

This “melancholy” is not all sad because a certain nobility is involved as well.

Considering the history of the region this is understandable.

Chopin, Rachmaninoff and Scriabin all famously wrote pieces in the key of C Sharp Minor.

The Sasha I refer to is Scriabin. The Dinu is the Romanian pianist and composer Dinu Lipatti.

We also have named our new female Havanese puppy Sasha.
(She is adorable and happy and not the least melancholy.)

Though the general thrust of this piece definitely conveys this Slavic element which is heartfelt for me and quite natural, there is also a very American component in parts of the piece.

It is very easy for me to “feel” this music and it is one of the things I love to play. Every morning it is one piece I play to start my day along with Chartreuse, Dark Eyes, and Through Rose Colored Glasses.


Sasha and Dinu

“Sasha and Dinu”

(composed and performed by reynold d. philipsek 2017 copyright. Zino-Rephi Music BMI)

I have been working on my solo acoustic guitar repertoire in order to prepare a recital program. I will probably film this recital at some point in the next year to be posted on Youtube or at my site.
My recent interest in the work of the great Slavic pianist/composers like Prokofiev, Chopin, Scriabin and Rachmaninoff have inspired this  move.
“Sasha and Dinu” is a piece I first wrote a few years ago but only recently worked up this current version. The tonal center of C Sharp Minor is ever present and comes directly from the influence of Scriabin, Chopin and Rachmaninoff who all used this tonality to great effect in creating what I call a mood of “Slavic Melancholia.”
“Slavic Melancholia” could be described as a state of being in which sadness, nostalgia, longing, despair, joy and hope are mixed together into a sort of psycho-romantic goulash. You find this mood in most Slavic art to some degree and being of that general persuasion myself I feel quite at home in this modality.
My theory is that years of oppression, poverty, cold winter nights, copious droughts of vodka and a soulful poetic nature all greatly contribute to the origins of “SM.”