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: Symphonies No 1 & 3, Songs / Rozhdestvensky
Release Date: 07/26/1994   Label: Chandos  
Catalog: 9199   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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Historical - Borodin: String Quartets / Borodin Quartet
Release Date: 01/22/2002   Label: Chandos  
Catalog: 9965   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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Work: In the steppes of central Asia

Browse 26-49 of 49 Available Recordings
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  • 26.
    Ultimate Classical Spectacular - The Essential Masterpieces
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 001274702 Release Date: 04/21/2009   Number of Discs: 5
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky,  Maurice Ravel,  Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov,  Modest Mussorgsky  ... 
    Performer:  Alan Loveday,  Christopher Warren-Green
    Conductor:  Esa-Pekka Salonen,  Sir Neville Marriner,  Vladimir Ashkenazy,  Charles Dutoit
    CD: $21.99
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  • 27.
    Tchaikovsky: 1812 Overture, Etc / Salonen, Bavarian Rso
    Label: Philips   Catalog: 412552 Release Date: 01/30/2009   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky,  Mily Balakirev,  Alexander Borodin,  Mikhail Glinka
    Conductor:  Esa-Pekka Salonen
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra,  Bavarian Radio Chorus
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  • 28.
    4 Elements - Classical Music Of Fire, Water, Air And Earth
    Label: Berlin Classics   Catalog: 184592 Release Date: 09/09/2008   Number of Discs: 4
    Composer:  George Frideric Handel,  Georg Philipp Telemann,  Johann Strauss Jr.,  Bedrich Smetana  ... 
    Performer:  Andreas Pistorius,  Jutta Zoff,  Peter Rösel,  Ute Priew  ... 
    Conductor:  Hartmut Haenchen,  Carl von Garaguly,  Václav Neumann,  Kurt Sanderling  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach Chamber Orchestra,  Dresden Staatskapelle,  Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra  ... 
    CD: $17.99
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  • 29.
    Elements Of Art - Earth
    Label: Berlin Classics   Catalog: 59722 Release Date: 07/08/2008   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Georges Bizet,  Claude Debussy,  Maurice Ravel  ... 
    Conductor:  Herbert Blomstedt,  Heinz Rögner,  Otmar Suitner,  Jörg-Peter Weigle  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Dresden Staatskapelle,  Berlin Radio Symphony Orchestra,  Dresden Philharmonic Orchestra  ... 
    CD: $8.99
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  • 30.
    Sabre Dance - Favorite Orchestral Works 2 / Fiedler, Boston Pops
    Label: Rca   Catalog: 35038 Release Date: 03/26/2008   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Sergei Prokofiev,  Richard Wagner,  Franz Liszt,  Grigoras Dinicu  ... 
    Conductor:  Arthur Fiedler
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Boston Pops
    CD: $17.99
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  • 31.
    Winter Dreams - Glinka, Tchaikovsky, Glazunov, Et Al / Sanderling, Masur, Kegel, Et Al
    Label: Berlin Classics   Catalog: 8578 Release Date: 02/19/2008   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Sergei Rachmaninov,  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky,  Sergei Prokofiev,  Alexander Glazunov  ... 
    Performer:  Peter Rösel,  Siegfried Stöckigt,  Robert Chen
    Conductor:  Kurt Sanderling,  Herbert Kegel,  Kurt Masur,  Heinz Rögner  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Symphony Orchestra,  Dresden Philharmonic Orchestra,  Berlin Radio Symphony Orchestra  ... 
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  • 32.
    Orientale - Music For Piano Duo Inspired By The East / Goldstone & Clemmow Duo
    Label: Divine Art   Catalog: 25032 Release Date: 05/30/2006   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Adam Gorb,  Camille Saint-Saëns,  Alexander Borodin,  Gustav Holst  ... 
    Performer:  Caroline Clemmow,  Anthony Goldstone
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  • 33.
    Kdfc - Islands Of Sanity 3 - 100% Natural
    Label: Naxos   Catalog: 8557917 Release Date: 11/01/2005   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Anton Rubinstein,  Ferde Grofé,  Frederick Delius,  Claude Debussy  ... 
    Performer:  François-Joël Thiollier,  Peter Donohoe,  Idil Biret,  Jénö Jandó  ... 
    Conductor:  Stephen Gunzenhauser,  William T. Stromberg,  David Lloyd-Jones,  Mike Dixon  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Slovak Philharmonic Orchestra,  Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra,  Royal Scottish National Orchestra  ... 
    CD: $18.99
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  • 34.
    Borodin: Prince Igor - Highlights / Kuchar, Et Al
    Label: Naxos   Catalog: 8557456 Release Date: 08/16/2005   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Alexander Borodin
    Performer:  Angelina Shvachka,  Mykola Koval,  Taras Shtonda,  Dmitri Popov
    Conductor:  Theodore Kuchar
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Ukrainian National Symphony Orchestra,  Kiev Chamber Chorus
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  • 35.
    Rimski-korsakov: Scheherazade, Borodin / Immerseel, Anima Eterna Orchestra
    Label: Zig Zag   Catalog: 50502 Release Date: 08/02/2005   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Alexander Borodin,  Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov
    Performer:  Midori Seiler
    Conductor:  Jos van Immerseel
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Anima Eterna Orchestra
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  • 36.
    Rimsky-Korsakov: Scheherazade / Gergiev, Kirov Orchestra
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 470840 Release Date: 10/08/2002   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Mily Balakirev,  Alexander Borodin,  Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov
    Performer:  Sergei Levitin
    Conductor:  Valery Gergiev
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Kirov Theater Orchestra
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  • 37.
    Label: Supraphon   Catalog: 3664 Release Date: 09/24/2002   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Modest Mussorgsky,  Alexander Borodin,  Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov
    Conductor:  Karel Ancerl
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  • 38.
    Borodin: Symphony No 2; Prince Igor (Orchestral Music) / Kubelik, Vienna Philharmonic
    Label: Emi Seraphim   Catalog: 74276 Release Date: 02/27/2001   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Alexander Borodin
    Conductor:  Herbert von Karajan,  André Cluytens,  Paul Strauss,  Constantin Silvestri  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philharmonia Orchestra,  Ličge Philharmonic Orchestra,  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 39.
    Borodin: Requiem, Nocturne, Suites, Etc / Simon, Et Al
    Label: Cala Records   Catalog: 1029 Release Date: 11/07/2000   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Alexander Borodin
    Performer:  Margaret Field,  Stephanie Chase,  Ian Boughton
    Conductor:  Geoffrey Simon
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  BBC Symphony Chorus,  Philharmonia Orchestra
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  • 40.
    Ports Of Call / Eiji Oue, Minnesota Orchestra
    Label: Reference Recordings   Catalog: 80 Release Date: 09/23/1997   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Emmanuel Chabrier,  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky,  Bedrich Smetana,  Alexander Borodin  ... 
    Conductor:  Eiji Oue
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Minnesota Orchestra
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  • 41.
    Borodin & Mussorgsky: Orchestral Works
    Label: Vox   Catalog: 7208 Release Date: 02/18/1997   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Modest Mussorgsky,  Alexander Borodin
    Conductor:  Leonard Slatkin
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  St. Louis Symphony Orchestra
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  • 42.
    Borodin: Symphonies 1, 2 & 3, Etc / Davis, Toronto So
    Label: Sony Classical Essential Classics   Catalog: 62406 Release Date: 04/16/1996   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Alexander Borodin
    Conductor:  Sir Andrew Davis,  Leonard Bernstein,  Saulius Sondeckis
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Toronto Symphony Orchestra,  New York Philharmonic,  St. Petersburg Camerata of the Hermitage Museum
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  • 43.
    Borodin: Symphony 2, Polovtsian Dances;  Mussorgsky
    Label: Emi Seraphim   Catalog: 69021 Release Date: 10/17/1995   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Alexander Borodin,  Modest Mussorgsky
    Conductor:  William Steinberg,  Constantin Silvestri,  André Cluytens,  Herbert von Karajan  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra,  Philharmonia Orchestra,  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra
    CD: $4.99
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  • 44.
    Borodin: Symphonies No 1 & 2, Etc / Hirokami, Malmö So
    Label: Bis   Catalog: 726 Release Date: 07/18/1995   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Alexander Borodin
    Conductor:  Jun'ichi Hirokami
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Malmö Symphony Orchestra
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  • 45.
    Borodin: Three Symphonies, Petite Suite, Polovetsian Dances
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 435757 Release Date: 07/01/1992   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Alexander Borodin
    Performer:  Torgny Sporsen
    Conductor:  Neeme Järvi
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra,  Gothenburg Symphony Chorus
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  • 46.
    Mussorgsky: Pictures At An Exhibition, Etc / Nazareth
    Label: Naxos   Catalog: 8550051 Release Date: 06/30/1992   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Modest Mussorgsky,  Alexander Borodin,  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Conductor:  Daniel Nazareth
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Slovak Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 47.
    Borodin: Symphony No 2, Polovtsian Dances / Tjeknavorian
    Label: Rca Silver Seal   Catalog: 60535 Release Date: 04/05/1991   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Alexander Borodin
    Conductor:  Loris Tjeknavorian
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  National Philharmonic Orchestra
    CD: $6.99
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  • 48.
    Tchaikovsky: 1812, Marche Slave, Etc / Järvi, Gothenburg So
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 429984 Release Date: 03/08/1991   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Alexander Borodin,  Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov,  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
    Conductor:  Neeme Järvi
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Gothenburg Symphony Chorus,  Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra
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  • 49.
    Label: Naxos   Catalog: 8560013 Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Edvard Grieg,  Felix Mendelssohn,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky  ... 
    Performer:  Takako Nishizaki,  István Székely
    Conductor:  Alexander Rahbari,  Anthony Bramall,  Zdenek Kosler,  Daniel Nazareth  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Orchestra,  Slovak Philharmonic Orchestra,  Capella Istropolitana  ... 
    CD: $39.99
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