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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 No 1-3 / Schwarz, Seattle Symphony
Release Date: 07/26/2011   Label: Naxos  
Catalog: 8572786   Number of Discs: 1
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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: Prince Igor - Highlights / Kuchar, Et Al
Release Date: 08/16/2005   Label: Naxos  
Catalog: 8557456   Number of Discs: 1
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The Russian Piano Quartet - Taneyev, Juon, Borodin
Release Date: 11/21/2000   Label: Sono Luminus  
Catalog: 93215   Number of Discs: 1
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Work: Prince Igor: Polovtsian Dances

Browse 1-25 of 115 Available Recordings
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  • 1.
    Phase 4 Stereo - Stereo Concert Series
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 002188302 Release Date: 10/27/2014   Number of Discs: 41
    Composer:  John Philip Sousa,  Charles A. Zimmerman,  Francis S. Van Boskerck,  George Norton  ... 
    Performer:  Stanley Black,  David Parkhouse,  Alan Loveday,  Robert Merrill  ... 
    Conductor:  Rodney Bashford,  Stanley Black,  Bernard Herrmann,  Edward Downes  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Grenadier Guards Band,  London Festival Orchestra,  London Festival Recording Ensemble  ... 
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  • 2.
    Ferenc Fricsay: Complete Recordings On Deutsche Grammophon, 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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  • 3.
    Karajan 1949-1960: Mussorgsky, Tchaikovsky, Borodin, Balakirev, Stravinsky
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 633620 Release Date: 05/13/2014   Number of Discs: 7
    Composer:  Mily Balakirev,  Sergei Prokofiev,  Modest Mussorgsky,  Alexander Borodin  ... 
    Performer:  Boris Christoff
    Conductor:  Herbert von Karajan
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philharmonia Orchestra,  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra
    CD: $44.49
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  • 4.
    Simon Rattle - Berlin Philharmoniker [blu-ray]
    Label: Euroarts   Catalog: 59734 Release Date: 04/29/2014   Number of Discs: 4
    Composer:  Alexander Borodin,  Modest Mussorgsky,  Dmitri Shostakovich,  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky  ... 
    Performer:  Yefim Bronfman,  Lisa Batiashvili,  Truls Otterbech Mork
    Conductor:  Simon Rattle
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra
    Blu-ray Video: $98.99
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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  ... 
    Recommendation
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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.
    Best Of Pops / Arthur Fiedler, Boston Pops Orchestra
    Label: Dynamic   Catalog: 3580 Release Date: 07/02/2013   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Jacob Gade,  Leroy Anderson,  Victor Young,  Meredith Willson  ... 
    Conductor:  Arthur Fiedler
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Boston Pops
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  • 8.
    Lazy Day Classics
    Label: Gift Of Music   Catalog: 1271 Release Date: 03/26/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ralph Vaughan Williams,  Edvard Grieg,  Franz Schubert,  Jean Sibelius  ... 
    Performer:  Christine Pendrill,  James Campbell,  Stephanie Chase
    Conductor:  Geoffrey Simon,  Roy Goodman
    CD: $17.99
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  • 9.
    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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  • 10.
    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
    On sale! $18.98
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  • 11.
    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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  • 12.
    Dances And Waves - Schonbrunn Summer Night Concert 2012 / Dudamel, Vienna PO
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 001717502 Release Date: 08/21/2012   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky,  Modest Mussorgsky,  Alexander Borodin,  Claude Debussy  ... 
    Conductor:  Gustavo Dudamel
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 13.
    Dances And Waves - Schonbrunn Summer Night Concert 2012 / Dudamel, Vienna PO [DVD]
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 001717609 Release Date: 08/21/2012   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky,  Modest Mussorgsky,  Alexander Borodin,  Claude Debussy  ... 
    Conductor:  Gustavo Dudamel
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra
    DVD: $29.99
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  • 14.
    Mussorgsky: Pictures At An Exhibition
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 001702102 Release Date: 07/24/2012   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Modest Mussorgsky,  Alexander Borodin,  Aram Khachaturian
    Performer:  Torgny Sporsen
    Conductor:  Carlo Maria Giulini,  Lorin Maazel,  Neeme Järvi,  Oliver Knussen  ... 
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  • 15.
    Candle Night Classics
    Label: Intergroove   Catalog: 1 Release Date: 04/10/2012   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Frédéric Chopin,  Alexander Borodin,  Georges Bizet,  Pietro Mascagni  ... 
    Performer:  Andrei Ivanovich,  Aldona Dvarionaite,  Fou Ts'ong,  Elisso Bolkvadze  ... 
    Conductor:  Jansug Kakhidze,  Alexander Titov,  Pavel Bubelnikov,  Stanislav Gorkovenko  ... 
    CD: $14.99
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  • 16.
    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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  • 17.
    The Decca Sound [50-CD Set]
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 001619902 Release Date: 11/15/2011   Number of Discs: 50
    Composer:  Manuel de Falla,  Claude Debussy,  Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov,  Enrique Granados  ... 
    Performer:  Teresa Berganza,  Alfredo Campoli,  Vladimir Ashkenazy,  Cecilia Bartoli  ... 
    Conductor:  Ernest Ansermet,  Ataulfo Argenta,  Anatole Fistoulari,  Vladimir Ashkenazy  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Suisse Romande Orchestra,  London Symphony Orchestra,  Philharmonia Orchestra  ... 
    CD: $175.49
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  • 18.
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 828262 Release Date: 11/01/2011   Number of Discs: 6
    Composer:  George Frideric Handel,  Antonio Vivaldi,  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Henry Purcell  ... 
    Conductor:  Sir Charles Mackerras,  Sir Neville Marriner,  Wolfgang Gönnenwein,  David Munrow  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  English Chamber Orchestra,  Ambrosian Singers,  Academy of St. Martin in the Fields  ... 
    CD: $19.99
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  • 19.
    Best Choruses 100
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 80416 Release Date: 11/01/2011   Number of Discs: 6
    Composer:  George Frideric Handel,  Antonio Vivaldi,  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Henry Purcell  ... 
    Conductor:  Sir Charles Mackerras,  Sir Neville Marriner,  Wolfgang Gönnenwein,  David Munrow  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  English Chamber Orchestra,  Ambrosian Singers,  Academy of St. Martin in the Fields  ... 
    CD: $21.99
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  • 20.
    Firestorm / United States Army Brass Band
    Label: Altissimo   Catalog: 62302 Release Date: 10/25/2011   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Lloyd Scott,  Alexander Borodin,  Carl Maria von Weber,  Barrie Gott  ... 
    Performer:  David A. Kratz,  James McKenzie,  George Allen,  Michael Wagner  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  United States Army Brass Band
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  • 21.
    Ballets Russes / Jarvi, Mariinsky Choir, Radio France Po
    Label: Virgin Classics   Catalog: 29319 Release Date: 10/18/2011   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Sergei Prokofiev,  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky,  Aram Khachaturian,  Dmitri Shostakovich  ... 
    Conductor:  Paavo Järvi
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  ORTF Philharmonic Orchestra,  Kirov Theater Chorus
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  • 22.
    Choeurs de l'Opera de Vienne - Norma & Other Great Choruses / Bauer-Theussl
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 62611 Release Date: 10/17/2011   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Giuseppe Verdi,  Richard Wagner,  Bedrich Smetana,  Alexander Borodin  ... 
    Conductor:  Franz Bauer-Theussl
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Opera Chorus,  Vienna Volksoper Orchestra
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  • 23.
    A Festival Of Ballet
    Label: Tgg Direct   Catalog: 60207 Release Date: 02/15/2011   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Claude Debussy,  Alexander Borodin,  Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov,  Paul Dukas  ... 
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  • 24.
    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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  • 25.
    Mussorgsky: Pictures At An Exhibition; Night On The Bare Mountain; Rimsky-korsakov, Borodin, Glinka / Lombard
    Label: Apex   Catalog: 2564622652 Release Date: 11/30/2010   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Modest Mussorgsky,  Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov,  Alexander Borodin,  Mikhail Glinka
    Conductor:  Alain Lombard
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Strasbourg Philharmonic Orchestra
    CD: $8.99
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