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: Symphony No 2, In the Steppes of Central Asia, Prince Igor Selections / Schmidt
Release Date: 02/04/2014   Label: Musical Concepts  
Catalog: 1215   Number of Discs: 1
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Borodin: String Quartets Nos. 1 & 2 /  Shostakovich String Quartet
Release Date: 08/16/2011   Label: Musical Concepts  
Catalog: 1111   Number of Discs: 1
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Work: Prince Igor: Polovtsian Dances

Browse 51-75 of 89 Available Recordings
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  • 51.
    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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  • 52.
    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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    CD: $118.99
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  • 53.
    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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  • 54.
    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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  • 55.
    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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  • 56.
    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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  • 57.
    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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  • 58.
    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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  • 59.
    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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  • 60.
    The Splendours Of Russian Opera
    Label: London/Decca Opera Gala Series   Catalog: 458216 Release Date: 10/11/2003   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Alexander Borodin,  Modest Mussorgsky,  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky,  Sergei Rachmaninov  ... 
    Performer:  Alexei Maslennikov,  Nicolai Ghiaurov,  Regina Resnik,  Bernd Weikl  ... 
    Conductor:  Sir Georg Solti,  Herbert von Karajan,  Edward Downes
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Symphony Chorus,  London Symphony Orchestra,  Vienna State Opera Chorus  ... 
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  • 61.
    Expanded Edition - Mussorgsky, Rimsky-Korsakov / Szell
    Label: Sony Classical Masterworks   Catalog: 93019 Release Date: 09/30/2003   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Modest Mussorgsky,  Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov,  Anatole Liadov,  Alexander Borodin
    Conductor:  George Szell
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Cleveland Orchestra
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  • 62.
    Plaintive Melody / Thomas Stacy, Kenneth Hamrick
    Label: Delos   Catalog: 3318 Release Date: 08/05/2003   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Alexander Borodin,  Heitor Villa-Lobos,  Ennio Morricone  ... 
    Performer:  Kenneth Hamrick,  Thomas Stacy
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  • 63.
    Russia's Greatest Composers
    Label: Inside Sounds   Catalog: 2898 Release Date: 10/08/2002   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov,  Alexander Borodin,  Modest Mussorgsky,  Mikhail Glinka  ... 
    Performer:  Various Artists
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  • 64.
    Smetana: The Moldau; Dvorák, Brahms, Borodin, Liszt / Barenboim, Et Al
    Label: Dg Galleria   Catalog: 415851 Release Date: 12/21/2001   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Alexander Borodin,  Johannes Brahms,  Antonín Dvorák,  Franz Liszt  ... 
    Conductor:  Daniel Barenboim
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Chicago Symphony Orchestra
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  • 65.
    Vodka & Caviar - The Ultimate Russian Spectacular
    Label: Delos   Catalog: 3288 Release Date: 09/11/2001   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Alexander Borodin,  Aram Khachaturian,  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
    Performer:  Dmitry Khakamov
    Conductor:  Constantine Orbelian
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Russian Philharmonic Orchestra,  Spiritual Revival Choir of Moscow
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  • 66.
    Tchaikovsky, Borodin, Mussorgsky, Et Al / Hollreiser
    Label: Vox Allegretto   Catalog: 8022 Release Date: 07/30/2001   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Alexander Borodin,  Modest Mussorgsky,  Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov,  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
    Conductor:  Heinrich Hollreiser
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna State Opera Chorus,  Vienna Symphony Orchestra
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  • 67.
    A Night At The Ballet
    Label: Lifestyles   Catalog: 215005 Release Date: 01/16/2001   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Alexander Borodin,  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky,  Mikhail Glinka,  Camille Saint-Saëns  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Orchestra
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  • 68.
    The Russian Piano Quartet - Taneyev, Juon, Borodin
    Label: Sono Luminus   Catalog: 93215 Release Date: 11/21/2000   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Paul Juon,  Alexander Borodin,  Sergei Taneyev
    Performer:  Mahlon Darlington,  George Work,  William David,  Jonathan Sturm
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Ames Piano Quartet
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  • 69.
    The Monet Collection - Romantic Moments
    Label: Lifestyles   Catalog: 315020 Release Date: 11/20/2000   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Alexander Borodin,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Mikhail Glinka,  Sergei Rachmaninov  ... 
    Performer:  Nikolai Portnov,  Irina Snegova,  Andrey Ryazanov,  Juriy Ivchenko  ... 
    Conductor:  Jansug Kakhidze,  Leonid Malyshev,  Viacheslav Suvorov,  Sergei Evgenin  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Tbilisi Symphony Orchestra,  St. Petersburg Festival Symphony Orchestra,  St. Petersburg Chamber Orchestra "Muse"  ... 
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  • 70.
    Borodin, Mussorgsky, Et Al / Heinrich Hollreiser, Vienna So
    Label: Tuxedo Music   Catalog: 1009 Release Date: 04/15/2000   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Alexander Borodin,  Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov,  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky,  Modest Mussorgsky
    Conductor:  Heinrich Hollreiser
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Symphony Orchestra
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  • 71.
    Virtuoso / Rolf Smedvig
    Label: Telarc   Catalog: 80550 Release Date: 01/25/2000   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Alexander Borodin,  Tomaso Albinoni,  Manuel de Falla,  Rafael Mendez  ... 
    Performer:  Eric Ruske,  Rolf Smedvig,  Richard Jensen,  Sam Pilafian  ... 
    Conductor:  Jahja Ling
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Empire Brass,  Scottish Chamber Orchestra
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  • 72.
    Fawkes, Richard: The History Of Classical Music / Robert Powell
    Label: Naxos Audio Books   Catalog: 4140 Release Date: 08/31/1999   Number of Discs: 4
    Composer:  Anonymous,  Hildegard of Bingen,  Alfonso X (El Sabio),  Guillaume de Machaut  ... 
    Performer:  Kasia Elsner,  Simon Weir,  Jennifer Purvis,  Richard Fawkes  ... 
    Conductor:  Nicholas Kraemer,  Stephen Gunzenhauser,  Hanspeter Gmür,  Barry Wordsworth  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Nova Schola Gregoriana,  In Dulci Jubilo Children's Choir,  Oxford Camerata  ... 
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  • 73.
    Romantic Russia / Georg Solti, London So, Et Al
    Label: London/Decca Legends   Catalog: 460977 Release Date: 07/01/1999   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Alexander Borodin,  Modest Mussorgsky,  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky,  Mikhail Glinka
    Conductor:  Sir Georg Solti
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Symphony Chorus,  London Symphony Orchestra,  Orchestre de la Société du Conservatoire Paris
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  • 74.
    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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  • 75.
    Nikolai Malko - Borodin, Rimsky-korsakov, Liadov, Glazunov
    Label: Testament   Catalog: 1062 Release Date: 03/01/1996   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Alexander Borodin,  Anatole Liadov,  Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov
    Conductor:  Nicolai Malko
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philharmonia Orchestra
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