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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 51-75 of 115 Available Recordings
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  • 51.
    The Royal Edition - Ballet Music / Bernstein
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 47600 Release Date: 03/12/2008   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Alexander Borodin,  Charles Gounod,  Amilcare Ponchielli,  Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov  ... 
    Conductor:  Leonard Bernstein
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  New York Philharmonic
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  • 52.
    Mussorgsky: Bilder Einer Ausstellung;  Borodin
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 00273 Release Date: 02/26/2008   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Alexander Borodin,  Modest Mussorgsky
    Conductor:  Simon Rattle
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 53.
    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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  • 54.
    New Year's Concert At Mariinsky Theatre Concert Hall / Valery Gergiev, Et Al
    Label: Bel Air Classiques   Catalog: 31 Release Date: 12/11/2007   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Igor Stravinsky,  Sergei Rachmaninov,  Alexander Borodin,  Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov  ... 
    Performer:  Yefim Bronfman
    Conductor:  Valery Gergiev
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  St. Petersburg Mariinsky Theater Orchestra
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  • 55.
    Phase 4 Stereo - Russia! / Stanley Black, London Festival
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 452492 Release Date: 11/27/2007   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Alexander Borodin,  Modest Mussorgsky,  Traditional,  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky  ... 
    Conductor:  Stanley Black
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Festival Orchestra,  London Festival Chorus
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  • 56.
    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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  • 57.
    Solti - A Passion For Music
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 000972102 Release Date: 09/18/2007   Number of Discs: 5
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Richard Strauss,  Mikhail Glinka,  Alexander Borodin  ... 
    Performer:  Tamás Daróczy,  Alexandru Agache
    Conductor:  Sir Georg Solti
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Zurich Tonhalle Orchestra,  Chicago Symphony Orchestra,  London Symphony Orchestra  ... 
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  • 58.
    Mussorgsky: Pictures At An Exhibition
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 000957202 Release Date: 09/11/2007   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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  • 59.
    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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  • 60.
    Sunday Evenings With Pierre Monteux - California 1941-52
    Label: Music & Arts Programs Of America   Catalog: 1192 Release Date: 03/13/2007   Number of Discs: 13
    Composer:  Sir William Walton,  Olivier Messiaen,  Carl Maria von Weber,  Gioachino Rossini  ... 
    Performer:  Dorothy Warenskjold,  William Kapell,  Boris Blinder,  Naum Blinder  ... 
    Conductor:  Pierre Monteux
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Standard Symphony Orchestra
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  • 61.
    Russian Nights / Erich Kunzel, Cincinnati Pops Orchestra
    Label: Telarc   Catalog: 80657 Release Date: 02/27/2007   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Mikhail Glinka,  Mikhail Ippolitov-Ivanov,  Sergei Prokofiev,  Alexander Borodin  ... 
    Performer:  Richard Hawley,  Timothy Lees
    Conductor:  Erich Kunzel
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Cincinnati Pops
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  • 62.
    Original Masters - Ernest Ansermet - Decca Recordings 1953-1967
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 000837002 Release Date: 02/13/2007   Number of Discs: 6
    Composer:  Carl Maria von Weber,  Igor Stravinsky,  Ottorino Respighi,  Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov  ... 
    Conductor:  Ernest Ansermet
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Suisse Romande Orchestra
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  • 63.
    Great Opera Choirs - Wagner, Mozart, Verdi, Purcell, Et Al
    Label: Profil   Catalog: 4046 Release Date: 01/30/2007   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Alexander Borodin,  Giuseppe Verdi,  Ruggero Leoncavallo,  Richard Wagner  ... 
    Conductor:  Peter Schrottner,  Michael Alber
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  • 64.
    Weekend Classics - A Russian Weekend
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 000769302 Release Date: 11/14/2006   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Modest Mussorgsky,  Igor Stravinsky,  Aram Khachaturian,  Mikhail Glinka  ... 
    Performer:  Torgny Sporsen
    Conductor:  Carlo Maria Giulini,  Rafael Kubelik,  Gennadi Rozhdestvensky,  Mikhail Pletnev  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Chicago Symphony Orchestra,  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra,  Leningrad Philharmonic Orchestra  ... 
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  • 65.
    Best Classics 100
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 70853 Release Date: 08/29/2006   Number of Discs: 6
    Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Gioachino Rossini,  Alexander Borodin,  George Frideric Handel  ... 
    Performer:  David Bell,  Henriette Puig-Roget,  Victoria de los Angeles,  Heather Harper  ... 
    Conductor:  Wolfgang Gönnenwein,  Jerzy Maksymiuk,  Sir Thomas Beecham,  Sir Charles Mackerras  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Consortium Musicum,  South German Madrigal Choir Stuttgart,  Polish Chamber Orchestra  ... 
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  • 66.
    The Bolshoi Experience - Highlights From Russian Operas
    Label: Pentatone   Catalog: 5186089 Release Date: 07/25/2006   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky,  Alexander Dargomizhsky,  Mikhail Glinka,  Sergei Rachmaninov  ... 
    Performer:  Yelena Zelenskaya,  Mikhail Gubsky,  Vladimir Matorin,  Taras Shtonda  ... 
    Conductor:  Alexander Vedernikov
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Bolshoi Theatre Orchestra,  Bolshoi Theatre Chorus
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  • 67.
    Label: Spj Music   Catalog: 95805 Release Date: 06/06/2006   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Johannes Brahms,  Camille Saint-Saëns,  Frédéric Chopin,  Robert Schumann  ... 
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  • 68.
    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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  • 69.
    Mussorgsky: Pictures At An Exhibition, Etc; Borodin / Durjan, Kegel
    Label: Berlin Classics   Catalog: 3235 Release Date: 10/01/2005   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Modest Mussorgsky,  Alexander Borodin
    Conductor:  Ogan Durjan,  Herbert Kegel
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Radio Symphony Orchestra,  Leipzig Radio Symphony Orchestra
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  • 70.
    Karajan Collection - Philharmonia Promenade Concert
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 76900 Release Date: 08/16/2005   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Alexander Borodin,  Ruggero Leoncavallo,  Hector Berlioz,  Jacques Offenbach  ... 
    Conductor:  Herbert von Karajan
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philharmonia Orchestra
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  • 71.
    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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  • 72.
    Mussorgsky, Borodin / Mackerras, Et Al
    Label: Virgin Classics   Catalog: 62483 Release Date: 03/29/2005   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Modest Mussorgsky,  Alexander Borodin
    Conductor:  Sir Charles Mackerras
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 73.
    Kirov Celebrates Nijinsky / Kirov Ballet
    Label: Kultur Video   Catalog: 2918 Release Date: 02/08/2005   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Igor Stravinsky,  Alexander Borodin,  Carl Maria von Weber,  Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov
    Conductor:  Mikhail Agrest
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  St. Petersburg Mariinsky Theater Orchestra
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  • 74.
    Original Masters - Leopold Stokowski Vol 2
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 000394902 Release Date: 02/08/2005   Number of Discs: 6
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Franz Schubert,  Johannes Brahms,  Richard Wagner  ... 
    Performer:  Alexander Young,  Donald McIntyre,  Heather Harper,  Helen Watts  ... 
    Conductor:  Leopold Stokowski
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Philharmonic Orchestra,  New Philharmonia Orchestra,  London Symphony Chorus  ... 
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  • 75.
    Ballets Russes / Järvi, Mariinsky Choir, Radio France Po
    Label: Virgin Classics   Catalog: 45609 Release Date: 02/10/2004   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Alexander Borodin,  Sergei Prokofiev,  Dmitri Shostakovich,  Alexander Glazunov  ... 
    Conductor:  Paavo Järvi
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Kirov Theater Chorus,  ORTF Philharmonic Orchestra
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