Alexander Borodin

Biography

Born: 1833   Died: 1887   Country: Russia   Period: Romantic
Though far from prolific as a composer -- by day he was a scientist noted for his research on aldehydes -- Alexander Borodin nevertheless earned a secure place in the history of Russian music. As a creative spirit, Borodin was the most accomplished of the Russian nationalists composers. He had a particular gift for the distinctive stripe of exoticism so evident in his most frequently performed work, the Polovtsian Dances from the opera Prince Read more Igor.

The illegitimate son of a Georgian prince and a doctor's wife, Borodin enjoyed a comfortable upbringing. As a child he learned to play several instruments and tried his hand at composing, but other aptitudes directed his formal education. He studied chemistry at St. Petersburg's Medico-Surgical Academy, obtaining his doctorate in 1858 and pursuing further studies in Europe until 1862. Upon his return to Russia, he became a professor at his alma mater; but even as an academic career apparently loomed before him, he maintained a devotion to music.

Under the influence of Mily Balakirev, whom he met in 1862, Borodin became interested in applying elements of Russian folk music to works for the concert hall and stage. He joined a circle of like-minded composers -- Balakirev, Rimsky-Korsakov, Mussorgsky, and Cui -- famously dubbed "The Five" or "The Mighty Handful." The influence of Balakirev in particular is at once in evident in the Symphony No. 1 in E flat major (1867). Borodin began the much craggier Symphony No. 2 in B minor in 1869, the same year he commenced labor on his most important work, the opulent four-act opera Prince Igor. While it took Borodin more than five years to complete the symphony, work on Prince Igor dragged on for decades. Borodin, who had in the meantime completed a number of other works, left the opera unfinished at the time of his death. It was completed posthumously by Rimsky-Korsakov, a skillful craftsman and a particularly apt match for Borodin's colorful musical character, and Alexander Glazunov. Glazunov also completed the Symphony No. 3 in A minor, which the composer had been working on until the time of his death.

Aside from teaching chemistry and conducting research, Borodin helped found a series of medical courses for women in 1872. Such activities, as well as the poor health that plagued him in the 1880s, drained the energy that he might have devoted to composition. Still, as a part-time composer, Borodin jeft a significant oeuvre: more than a dozen worthy songs, miscellaneous piano pieces, two string quartets (the second of which contains a ravishing Nocturne often performed in an arrangement for string orchestra), and the popular tone poem In the Steppes of Central Asia (1880). He died while attending a ball in St. Petersburg on February 27, 1887. Read less
Borodin Edition
Release Date: 11/13/2012   Label: Brilliant Classics  
Catalog: 94410   Number of Discs: 10
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Karajan 1949-1960: Mussorgsky, Tchaikovsky, Borodin, Balakirev, Stravinsky
Release Date: 05/13/2014   Label: Warner Classics  
Catalog: 633620   Number of Discs: 7
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Borodin: Prince Igor / Abdrazakov, Dyka, Petrenko, Noseda, Metropolitan Opera [blu-ray]
Release Date: 09/16/2014   Label: Deutsche Grammophon  
Catalog: 002133559   Number of Discs: 1
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Borodin: Symphonies No 1 & 2, Etc / Hirokami, Malmö So
Release Date: 07/18/1995   Label: Bis  
Catalog: 726   Number of Discs: 1
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Borodin: Complete Chamber Music
Release Date: 02/09/2010   Label: Brilliant Classics  
Catalog: 93973   Number of Discs: 3
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Work: In the steppes of central Asia

Browse 1-25 of 62 Available Recordings
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  • 1.
    Ferenc Fricsay: Complete Recordings On Deutsche Grammophon, Vol. 1 - Orchestral Works
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 1158037 Release Date: 09/02/2014   Number of Discs: 45
    Composer:  Béla Bartók,  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Johannes Brahms,  César Franck  ... 
    Performer:  Géza Anda,  Tibor Varga,  Helmut Krebs,  Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau  ... 
    Conductor:  Ferenc Fricsay
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Radio Symphony Orchestra,  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra,  Berlin RIAS Symphony Orchestra  ... 
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  • 2.
    RCA Living Stereo Collection Vol 1
    Label: Rca   Catalog: 541497 Release Date: 04/15/2014   Number of Discs: 60
    Composer:  Camille Saint-Saëns,  Claude Debussy,  Jacques Ibert,  Maurice Ravel  ... 
    Performer:  Berj Zamkochian,  John Weicher,  Philip Farkas,  Jascha Heifetz  ... 
    Conductor:  Charles Munch,  Fritz Reiner,  Kiril Kondrashin,  Arthur Fiedler  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Boston Symphony Orchestra,  New England Conservatory Chorus,  New England Conservatory Alumni Chorus  ... 
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  • 3.
    Borodin: Symphony No 2, In The Steppes Of Central Asia, Prince Igor Selections / Schmidt
    Label: Musical Concepts   Catalog: 1215 Release Date: 02/04/2014   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Alexander Borodin
    Conductor:  Ole Schmidt
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 4.
    Mussorgsky: Pictures At En Exhibition; Borodin: In The Steppes Of Central Asia
    Label: Lodia Music   Catalog: 780 Release Date: 01/14/2014   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Modest Mussorgsky,  Alexander Borodin,  Mikhail Glinka
    Conductor:  Carlos Paďta
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  • 5.
    Stravinsky, Borodin, Tchaikovsky, Mussorgsky
    Label: Orchid Classics   Catalog: 100029 Release Date: 04/30/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Igor Stravinsky,  Alexander Borodin,  Modest Mussorgsky,  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Mythos Accordion Duo
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  • 6.
    Tchaikovsky: 1812; Brahms: Symphony No. 4; Borodin: In The Steppes Of Central Asia / Mengelberg, Concertgebouw
    Label: Opus Kura   Catalog: 2104 Release Date: 03/12/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Johannes Brahms,  Alexander Borodin,  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
    Conductor:  Willem Mengelberg
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Concertgebouw Orchestra
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  • 7.
    Borodin: Symphonies  1-3, In The Steppes Of Central Asia / Ermler, Tjeknavorian
    Label: Brilliant Classics   Catalog: 94453 Release Date: 02/26/2013   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Alexander Borodin
    Conductor:  Mark Ermler,  Loris Tjeknavorian
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Bolshoi Symphony Orchestra,  Armenian Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 8.
    Icon - Constantin Silvestri [15-CD Set]
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 233472 Release Date: 02/05/2013   Number of Discs: 15
    Composer:  Antonín Dvorák,  Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov,  George Enescu,  Franz Liszt  ... 
    Conductor:  Constantin Silvestri
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra,  London Philharmonic Orchestra,  Orchestre de la Société du Conservatoire Paris  ... 
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  • 9.
    Borodin: Symphony No 2, Etc / Schmidt, Royal Po
    Label: Regis   Catalog: 1215 Release Date: 01/29/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Alexander Borodin
    Conductor:  Ole Schmidt
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 10.
    Borodin Edition
    Label: Brilliant Classics   Catalog: 94410 Release Date: 11/13/2012   Number of Discs: 10
    Composer:  Alexander Borodin,  Franz Liszt,  Anatole Liadov,  Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov  ... 
    Performer:  Alexander Gotthelf,  Alexander Mndoiantz,  Marco Rapetti,  Giampaolo Nuti  ... 
    Conductor:  Mark Ermler,  Emil Tchakarov
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Bolshoi Symphony Orchestra,  Moscow String Quartet,  Moscow Trio  ... 
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  • 11.
    Rimsky-Korsakov: Golden Cockerel Suite, May Night Overture / Markevitch, Orchestre Lamoureux
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 001739302 Release Date: 10/09/2012   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Alexander Borodin,  Mikhail Glinka,  Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov,  Anatole Liadov  ... 
    Conductor:  Igor Markevitch
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Lamoureux Concerts Association Orchestra
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  • 12.
    The Art Of Valery Gergiev
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 1083441 Release Date: 10/09/2012   Number of Discs: 12
    Composer:  Sergei Prokofiev,  Sergei Rachmaninov,  Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov,  Alexander Borodin  ... 
    Performer:  Olga Borodina,  Lang Lang,  Sergei Levitin,  Alexander Toradze  ... 
    Conductor:  Valery Gergiev
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Kirov Theater Orchestra,  Kirov Theater Chorus,  St. Petersburg Mariinsky Theater Orchestra  ... 
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  • 13.
    A Musical Journey -  Russia, Ukraine, Uzbekistan
    Label: Naxos   Catalog: 2110292 Release Date: 09/25/2012   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Alexander Borodin,  Modest Mussorgsky
    Conductor:  Daniel Nazareth
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Slovak Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 14.
    Russian Treasures
    Label: Erato   Catalog: 2572 Release Date: 09/25/2012   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Alexander Borodin,  Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov,  Modest Mussorgsky,  Mikhail Glinka  ... 
    Performer:  Mikhail Pletnev,  Natalie Dessay,  Dmitri Alexeev,  Jean-Yves Thibaudet  ... 
    Conductor:  Paavo Järvi,  André Cluytens,  Armin Jordan,  Sir Charles Mackerras  ... 
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  • 15.
    Alexander Borodin: Symphonies Nos. 1-3; Petite Suite; In The Steppes Of Central Asia; Overture To The Opera
    Label: Melodiya   Catalog: 1001946 Release Date: 06/12/2012   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Alexander Borodin
    Conductor:  Yevgeny Svetlanov
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  • 16.
    Journey Around The World
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 55476 Release Date: 04/10/2012   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Mexican Anonymous,  Arthur Benjamin,  Sergei Rachmaninov,  Alexander Borodin  ... 
    Performer:  Gabriela Montero,  Larry Adler,  Truls Otterbech Mork,  Jean-Yves Thibaudet  ... 
    Conductor:  Eric Robinson,  André Cluytens,  Herbert von Karajan,  Sir Neville Marriner  ... 
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  • 17.
    Borodin: Symphonies 1-3, Polovtsian Dances / Davis, Bernstein
    Label: Newton Classics   Catalog: 8802097 Release Date: 01/31/2012   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Alexander Borodin
    Conductor:  Sir Andrew Davis,  Saulius Sondeckis,  Leonard Bernstein
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Toronto Symphony Orchestra,  St. Petersburg Camerata of the Hermitage Museum,  New York Philharmonic
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  • 18.
    Icon: Vernon Handley - Champion Of British Music
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 98202 Release Date: 10/11/2011   Number of Discs: 5
    Composer:  Ralph Vaughan Williams,  Sir Edward Elgar,  Sir Arthur Bliss,  Sir William Walton  ... 
    Performer:  Nigel Kennedy,  Tasmin Little
    Conductor:  Vernon Handley
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Philharmonic Orchestra,  City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra,  Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra  ... 
    CD: $34.99
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  • 19.
    Borodin: Prince Igor Excerpts, In the Steppes of Central Asia, Symphony No 2 / Schmidt
    Label: Royal Philharmonic Masterworks   Catalog: 28280 Release Date: 02/08/2011   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Alexander Borodin
    Conductor:  Ole Schmidt
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 20.
    Label: Northquest   Catalog: 315003 Release Date: 10/12/2010   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Edvard Grieg,  Antonín Dvorák,  Georges Bizet,  Alexander Borodin  ... 
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  • 21.
    Tchaikovsky: Symphony No. 5; Borodin: In The Steppes Of Central Asia; Polovtsian Dances  / Fricsay
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 459011 Release Date: 07/30/2010   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Alexander Borodin,  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
    Conductor:  Ferenc Fricsay
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin RIAS Symphony Orchestra,  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 22.
    Borodin: Complete Piano Music / Marco Papetti
    Label: Brilliant Classics   Catalog: 93894 Release Date: 04/20/2010   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Alexander Borodin,  Franz Liszt,  Anatole Liadov,  Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov  ... 
    Performer:  Marco Rapetti,  Giampaolo Nuti,  Daniela De Santis
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  • 23.
    The Royal Edition - Russian Orchestral Music / Bernstein
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 47607 Release Date: 02/11/2010   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Dmitri Shostakovich,  Sergei Prokofiev,  Modest Mussorgsky,  Mikhail Ippolitov-Ivanov  ... 
    Conductor:  Leonard Bernstein
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  New York Philharmonic
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  • 24.
    The Legend Of The Orchestra
    Label: Virgin Classics   Catalog: 94539 Release Date: 10/20/2009   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Jacques Offenbach,  Modest Mussorgsky,  Alexander Borodin,  Ralph Vaughan Williams  ... 
    Conductor:  Herbert von Karajan,  Sir Charles Mackerras,  Georges Prętre,  Christopher Warren-Green  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philharmonia Orchestra,  Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra,  Royal Philharmonic Orchestra  ... 
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  • 25.
    Borodin, Saint-saens, Franck, Scriabin: Works For Piano And Orchestra / Rubinstein, Mitropoulos
    Label: Guild   Catalog: 2355 Release Date: 07/14/2009   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Alexander Scriabin,  César Franck,  Camille Saint-Saëns,  Alexander Borodin
    Performer:  Artur Rubinstein
    Conductor:  Dimitri Mitropoulos
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  New York Philharmonic
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