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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 101-115 of 115 Available Recordings
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  • 101.
    Art Of Classics - Beliebte Orchesterwerke
    Label: Intercord Klassische Diskothek   Catalog: 25920 Release Date: 05/23/1995   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Alexander Borodin,  Sergei Prokofiev,  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky,  Jean Sibelius  ... 
    Conductor:  Siegfried Köhler,  Yan Pascal Tortelier,  Günther Wich,  Gennadi Rozhdestvensky  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philharmonia Hungarica,  London Symphony Orchestra,  Stuttgart Chamber Orchestra  ... 
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  • 102.
    Can-can And Other Dances From The Opera
    Label: Naxos   Catalog: 8550924 Release Date: 05/09/1995   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Alexander Borodin,  Manuel de Falla,  Modest Mussorgsky,  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky  ... 
    Conductor:  Johannes Wildner,  Adrian Leaper,  Barry Wordsworth,  Ondrej Lenárd  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Philharmonic Orchestra,  Czecho-Slovak Radio Symphony,  Slovak Philharmonic Orchestra  ... 
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  • 103.
    Russian Favorites - Tchaikovsky, Borodin, Glinka
    Label: Sony Classical Infinity Digital   Catalog: 64562 Release Date: 04/18/1995   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Alexander Borodin,  Mikhail Glinka,  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
    Conductor:  Jahni Mardjani,  Stanislav Gorkovenko,  Vato Kahi
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Georgian Festival Orchestra,  Russian Radio/TV Orchestra of St. Petersburg
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  • 104.
    Classics - The Power & The Majesty / Shaw, Et Al
    Label: Telarc   Catalog: 80397 Release Date: 01/24/1995   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Alexander Borodin,  Hector Berlioz,  Sergei Rachmaninov,  Giuseppe Verdi  ... 
    Performer:  Karl Dent
    Conductor:  Robert Shaw
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Atlanta Symphony Orchestra,  Atlanta Symphony Chorus,  Morehouse-Spellman Chorus  ... 
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  • 105.
    100 Fiedler Favorites
    Label: Rca Victor Gold Seal   Catalog: 62698 Release Date: 10/11/1994   Number of Discs: 7
    Composer:  Jacob Gade,  Stevie Wonder,  George Cory,  Jerry Herman  ... 
    Performer:  Leo Litwin,  Earl Wild,  Pasquale Cardillo,  Toni Noichl  ... 
    Conductor:  Arthur Fiedler
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Boston Pops
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  • 106.
    An Evening Of Opera / Rene Leibowitz
    Label: Chesky Records   Catalog: 61 Release Date: 06/23/1994   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Alexander Borodin,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Jacques Offenbach,  Paul Dukas  ... 
    Conductor:  René Leibowitz
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Orchestre de la Société du Conservatoire Paris
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  • 107.
    Orchestral Spectacular
    Label: Naxos   Catalog: 8550501 Release Date: 02/15/1994   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Emmanuel Chabrier,  Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov,  Maurice Ravel,  Modest Mussorgsky  ... 
    Conductor:  Adrian Leaper
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 108.
    Tchaikovsky: 1812 Overture; Borodin, Glinka, Khachaturian / Gergiev, Kirov
    Label: Philips   Catalog: 442011 Release Date: 01/11/1994   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Alexander Borodin,  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky,  Anatole Liadov,  Aram Khachaturian  ... 
    Conductor:  Valery Gergiev
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Kirov Theater Chorus,  Kirov Theater Orchestra,  Dutch Royal Military Band
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  • 109.
    World's Greatest Choruses
    Label: Rca   Catalog: 61241 Release Date: 09/08/1992   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Alexander Borodin,  Martin Luther,  George Frideric Handel,  Giuseppe Verdi  ... 
    Performer:  Thomas Dunn,  Thomas Pyle,  Geneviève Macaux,  Monique Linval  ... 
    Conductor:  Eugene Ormandy,  Robert Shaw,  Richard Westenburg,  Erich Leinsdorf  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philadelphia Orchestra,  Mendelssohn Club Chorus Philadelphia,  Robert Shaw Chorale  ... 
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  • 110.
    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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  • 111.
    Dorati Conducts Rimsky-Korsakov & Borodin / London Symphony
    Label: Mercury Living Presence   Catalog: 434308 Release Date: 03/10/1992   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Alexander Borodin,  Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov
    Conductor:  Antal Doráti
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Symphony Chorus,  London Symphony Orchestra
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  • 112.
    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
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  • 113.
    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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  • 114.
    Stravinsky: The Firebird;  Borodin / Shaw, Atlanta So
    Label: Telarc   Catalog: 80039 Release Date: 10/25/1990   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Alexander Borodin,  Igor Stravinsky
    Conductor:  Robert Shaw
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Atlanta Symphony Orchestra
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  • 115.
    Pops A La Russe / John Williams, Boston Pops
    Label: Philips   Catalog: 426247 Release Date: 03/1990   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov,  Alexander Borodin,  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky,  Modest Mussorgsky  ... 
    Conductor:  John T. Williams
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Boston Pops
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