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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Borodin: Complete Chamber Music
Release Date: 02/09/2010   Label: Brilliant Classics  
Catalog: 93973   Number of Discs: 3
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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:  Prince Igor / Abdrazakov, Dyka, Petrenko, Kocan, Noseda, Metropolitan Opera
Release Date: 09/16/2014   Label: Deutsche Grammophon  
Catalog: 002133609   Number of Discs: 2
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Work: In the steppes of central Asia

Browse 26-50 of 62 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
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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.
    The World Of Borodin
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 444389 Release Date: 09/02/2008   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Alexander Borodin,  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Performer:  Zlatina Ghiaurov,  Nicolai Ghiaurov,  Vladimir Ashkenazy
    Conductor:  Jean Martinon,  Ernest Ansermet,  Sir Georg Solti,  Edward Downes
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Symphony Orchestra,  Suisse Romande Orchestra,  London Symphony Chorus  ... 
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  • 29.
    Borodin: Symphonies 2 & 3, Prince Igor Overture / Ansermet, Suisse Romande
    Label: Eloquence   Catalog: 4800048 Release Date: 08/25/2008   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Alexander Borodin
    Conductor:  Ernest Ansermet
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Suisse Romande Orchestra
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  • 30.
    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  ... 
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  • 31.
    Sabre Dance - Favorite Orchestral Works 2 / Fiedler, Boston Pops
    Label: Rca   Catalog: 35038 Release Date: 04/07/2008   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Sergei Prokofiev,  Richard Wagner,  Franz Liszt,  Grigoras Dinicu  ... 
    Conductor:  Arthur Fiedler
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Boston Pops
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  • 32.
    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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  • 33.
    Mussorgsky, Borodin, Gličre, Etc / Stokowski, Et Al
    Label: Cala Records   Catalog: 546 Release Date: 09/18/2007   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Modest Mussorgsky,  Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov,  Reinhold Gliere,  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky  ... 
    Performer:  Nicola Moscona
    Conductor:  Leopold Stokowski
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Leopold Stokowski Orchestra,  Women's Chorus
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  • 34.
    The Essential Borodin
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 455632 Release Date: 06/12/2007   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Alexander Borodin
    Performer:  Nicolai Ghiaurov,  Zlatina Ghiaurov
    Conductor:  Sir Georg Solti,  Edward Downes,  Vladimir Ashkenazy,  Jean Martinon  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Borodin String Quartet
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  • 35.
    Borodin: Symphony No 2, Etc;  Glinka / Friedmann, Samara Po
    Label: Arte Nova   Catalog: 304570 Release Date: 04/10/2007   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Alexander Borodin,  Mikhail Glinka
    Conductor:  Samuel Friedmann
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Samara Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 36.
    Russian Spectacular / Vernon Handley, Hallé Orchestra
    Label: Emi Classics For Pleasure   Catalog: 82232 Release Date: 03/20/2007   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Alexander Borodin,  Mikhail Glinka,  Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov,  Modest Mussorgsky  ... 
    Conductor:  Vernon Handley
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Hallé Orchestra
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  • 37.
    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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  • 38.
    Pops Caviar / Fiedler, Boston Pops
    Label: Rca Victor Red Seal   Catalog: 71618 Release Date: 02/07/2006   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Alexander Borodin,  Aram Khachaturian,  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky,  Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov
    Conductor:  Arthur Fiedler
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Boston Pops
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  • 39.
    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  ... 
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  • 40.
    Label: Berlin Classics   Catalog: 3039 Release Date: 10/01/2005   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Alexander Borodin,  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
    Conductor:  Kurt Sanderling
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  • 41.
    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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  • 42.
    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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  • 43.
    Russian Orchestral Showpieces / André Cluytens, Et Al
    Label: Emi Classics Encore   Catalog: 74763 Release Date: 01/07/2003   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Alexander Borodin,  Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov,  Modest Mussorgsky
    Conductor:  André Cluytens
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Orchestre de la Société du Conservatoire Paris,  Philharmonia Orchestra
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  • 44.
    Rimsky-Korsakov: Scheherazade / Gergiev, Kirov Orchestra
    Label: Philips   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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  • 45.
    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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  • 46.
    Caravan - The Ultimate Silk-road Album
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 472398 Release Date: 07/16/2002   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Carl Nielsen,  Alexander Borodin,  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky  ... 
    Performer:  Michel Schwalbé
    Conductor:  Herbert Blomstedt,  Neeme Järvi,  Bernhard Klee,  Herbert von Karajan  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  San Francisco Symphony Chorus,  San Francisco Symphony Orchestra,  Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra  ... 
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  • 47.
    Borodin: Symphony No 2, Etc / 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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  • 48.
    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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  • 49.
    Label: Vox Allegretto   Catalog: 8161 Release Date: 09/29/1998   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Alexander Borodin,  Mikhail Ippolitov-Ivanov,  Reinhold Gliere
    Conductor:  Othmar M. F. Mága,  Siegfried Landau
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philharmonia Hungarica,  Westchester Symphony Orchestra
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  • 50.
    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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