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: Symphonies 1, 2 & 3 / Gunzenhauser, Csr Symphony
Release Date: 02/15/1994   Label: Naxos  
Catalog: 8550238   Number of Discs: 1
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Borodin: String Quartets 1 & 2 / Haydn Quartet
Release Date: 12/13/1994   Label: Naxos  
Catalog: 8550850   Number of Discs: 1
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Borodin: Prince Igor - Highlights / Kuchar, Et Al
Release Date: 08/16/2005   Label: Naxos  
Catalog: 8557456   Number of Discs: 1
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Borodin: Prince Igor / Provatorov, Bogachova, Milaschkina, Kirov Opera
Release Date: 07/31/2007   Label: Kultur Video  
Catalog: 1286   Number of Discs: 1
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Work: In the steppes of central Asia

Browse 1-25 of 53 Available Recordings
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  • 1.
    Transcriptions - Retranscriptions
    Label: Bnl Productions   Catalog: 112978 Release Date: 05/12/2015   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Richard Wagner,  Franz Joseph Haydn,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Alexander Scriabin  ... 
    Performer:  Jean-Paul Imbert
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  • 2.
    Silk Road /  Bostock, Argovia Philharmonic
    Label: Coviello Classics   Catalog: 91413 Release Date: 01/27/2015   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ikuma Dan,  Alexander Borodin,  Ferruccio Busoni
    Conductor:  Douglas Bostock
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Argovia Philharmonic
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  • 3.
    Leonard Bernstein Edition - Concertos & Orchestral Works
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 301330 Release Date: 10/27/2014   Number of Discs: 80
    Composer:  Samuel Barber,  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Antonio Vivaldi,  Béla Bartók  ... 
    Performer:  Isaac Stern,  Leonard Bernstein,  Harold Gomberg,  William Heim  ... 
    Conductor:  Leonard Bernstein,  Seiji Ozawa,  Maurice Peress
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  New York Philharmonic,  New York Philharmonic members,  Columbia Symphony Orchestra  ... 
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  • 4.
    Ferenc Fricsay: Complete DG Recordings, Vol 1 - Orchestral Works
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 002132602 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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  • 5.
    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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  • 6.
    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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  • 7.
    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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  • 8.
    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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  • 9.
    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:  Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra
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  • 10.
    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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  • 11.
    Icon - Constantin Silvestri [15-CD Set]
    Label: Warner 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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  • 12.
    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
    CD: $11.99
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  • 13.
    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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  • 14.
    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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  • 15.
    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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  • 16.
    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,  Gautier Capuçon,  Steven Isserlis,  Natalie Dessay  ... 
    Conductor:  Paavo Järvi,  André Cluytens,  Armin Jordan,  Sir Charles Mackerras  ... 
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  • 17.
    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
    CD: $29.99
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  • 18.
    Journey Around The World
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 55476 Release Date: 04/10/2012   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Mexican Anonymous,  Arthur Benjamin,  Alexander Borodin,  Hector Berlioz  ... 
    Performer:  Gabriela Montero,  Larry Adler,  Moura Lympany,  Julian Byzantine  ... 
    Conductor:  Eric Robinson,  André Cluytens,  Herbert von Karajan,  Sir Neville Marriner  ... 
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  • 19.
    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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  • 20.
    Icon: Vernon Handley - Champion Of British Music
    Label: Warner 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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  • 21.
    Borodin: Prince Igor Excerpts, In the Steppes of Central Asia, Symphony No 2 / Schmidt, RPO
    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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  • 22.
    Tchaikovsky: Symphony No. 5; Borodin: In The Steppes Of Central Asia; Polovtsian Dances  / Fricsay
    Label: Dg 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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  • 23.
    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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  • 24.
    The Royal Edition - Russian Orchestral Music / Bernstein
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 47607 Release Date: 02/10/2010   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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  • 25.
    Musiques Russes / Cluytens, Giulini, Philharmonia, Et Al
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 68550 Release Date: 12/16/2009   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Mikhail Glinka,  Alexander Borodin,  Mily Balakirev,  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky  ... 
    Conductor:  Constantin Silvestri,  André Cluytens,  Lovro von Matacic,  Igor Markevitch  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philharmonia Orchestra
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