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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Karajan 1949-1960: Mussorgsky, Tchaikovsky, Borodin, Balakirev, Stravinsky
Release Date: 05/13/2014   Label: Warner Classics  
Catalog: 633620   Number of Discs: 7
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Borodin: Symphonies No 1 & 2, Etc / Hirokami, Malmö So
Release Date: 07/18/1995   Label: Bis  
Catalog: 726   Number of Discs: 1
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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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Rachmaninov, Borodin, Shostakovich: Cello Sonatas / Chaushian, Sudbin
Release Date: 03/29/2011   Label: Bis  
Catalog: 1858   Number of Discs: 1
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Work: Prince Igor: Polovtsian Dances

Browse 51-75 of 129 Available Recordings
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  • 51.
    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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  • 52.
    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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  • 53.
    Rimsky-Korsakov: Scheherazade; Borodin / Yuasa, Beecham
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 28280 Release Date: 07/08/2008   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Aram Khachaturian,  Alexander Borodin,  Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov
    Conductor:  Aram Khachaturian,  Efrem Kurtz,  Sir Thomas Beecham,  Sir Neville Marriner  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Symphony Orchestra,  Philharmonia Orchestra,  Beecham Choral Society  ... 
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  • 54.
    The Astonishing Moiseyev Dance Company Vol 1
    Label: Video Artists International   Catalog: 4460 Release Date: 06/10/2008   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Alexander Borodin
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  • 55.
    Imago 2 - 1812 Overture
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 419407 Release Date: 05/13/2008   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Modest Mussorgsky,  Alexander Borodin,  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky,  Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov
    Conductor:  Daniel Barenboim
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Chicago Symphony Orchestra
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  • 56.
    Mussorgsky: Pictures At An Exhibition;  Borodin: Symphony No 2, Etc / Rattle, Berlin Po
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 17582 Release Date: 04/29/2008   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Alexander Borodin,  Modest Mussorgsky
    Conductor:  Simon Rattle
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 57.
    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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  • 58.
    Karajan - Complete Emi Recordings 1946-84 Vol 1 - Orchestral Works
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 12038 Release Date: 04/01/2008   Number of Discs: 88
    Composer:  Johann Strauss Jr.,  Josef Strauss,  E. Nikolaus von Reznicek,  Johannes Brahms  ... 
    Performer:  Karl Leister,  Elisabeth Schwarzkopf,  Ernst Haefliger,  Anne-Sophie Mutter  ... 
    Conductor:  Herbert von Karajan
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  • 59.
    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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  • 60.
    Mussorgsky: Bilder Einer Ausstellung;  Borodin
    Label: Emi 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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  • 61.
    Russian Classics - Stravinsky: The Firebird;  Et Al / Ozawa
    Label: Emi Seraphim   Catalog: 69131 Release Date: 02/21/2008   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov,  Alexander Borodin,  Igor Stravinsky,  Sergei Prokofiev
    Performer:  Victor Aitay,  Alexis Weissenberg
    Conductor:  Seiji Ozawa
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Chicago Symphony Orchestra,  Boston Symphony Orchestra,  Orchestre de Paris
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  • 62.
    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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  • 63.
    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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  • 64.
    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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  • 65.
    Silvestri - Artist Profile - Tchaikovsky, Elgar, Et Al
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 68229 Release Date: 11/27/2007   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov,  Maurice Ravel,  Sir Edward Elgar,  Antonín Dvorák  ... 
    Conductor:  Constantin Silvestri
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philharmonia Orchestra,  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra,  Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra  ... 
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  • 66.
    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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  • 67.
    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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  • 68.
    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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  • 69.
    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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  • 70.
    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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  • 71.
    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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  • 72.
    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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  • 73.
    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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  • 74.
    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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  • 75.
    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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