Borodin: Scherzo in A flat

This page lists all recordings of Scherzo in A flat, by Alexander Profirevich Borodin (1833-87) on CD & download (MP3 & FLAC). Generally, more recent releases are listed first, but with priority given to those that are in stock.

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Russian Piano Encores

Russian Piano Encores


Borodin:

Scherzo in A flat

Liadov:

A Musical Snuffbox, Op. 32

Prokofiev:

Romeo & Juliet before parting

Masks from ‘Romeo and Juliet'

Rachmaninov:

Prelude Op. 3 No. 2 in C sharp minor

Étude-Tableau, Op. 39 No. 1 in C minor

Étude-Tableau, Op. 39 No. 2 in A minor

Étude-Tableau, Op. 39 No. 5 in E flat minor

Lilacs, Op. 21 No. 5

Daisies, Op. 38 No. 3

Vocalise, Op. 34 No. 14

arr. Kocsis

Shostakovich:

Lyric Waltz (from Dances of the Dolls)

Short Piece from The Gadfly, Op. 97

Spanish Dance from The Gadfly, Op. 97

Nocturne (The Limpid Stream)

Polka from The Golden Age, Op. 22

Taneyev:

Prelude and Fugue in G sharp minor, Op. 29

Tchaikovsky:

The Seasons, Op. 37b: June (Barcarolle)

Dumka (Russian Rustic Scene), Op. 59


Many European countries have vied with one another in claiming the largest number of piano virtuosos. No one would dispute, though, that Russia has generated more than its share. The so-called ‘Russian piano school’, which originated in the 1800s with brilliant performers such as Alexander Siloti and brothers Anton and Nikolai Rubinstein, continues to produce first-class pianists, and to influence performance styles and keyboard virtuosity all around the world.

Given Russia’s richness in superstar pianists, it is not surprising that Russian composers have composed extensively for the piano. Some of the composers represented in this collection were impressive pianists in their own right, and they composed music designed to display their own technique and artistry. Others were more modestly gifted as performers, but still composed idiomatically for the piano.

This collection brings together recordings by Vladimir Ashkenazy spanning some 40 years, from November 1963 (the three Rachmaninov Études-Tableaux) to March 2004 (the Kocsis transcription of Vocalise). Some of them appeared as fillers for bigger works – for instance, the Études-Tableaux were coupled with the 1964 recording of Rachmaninov’s Piano Concerto No. 2 with Kyril Kondrashin, one of Ashkenazy’s earliest recording for Decca, and his first solo recording for the label. Tchaikovsky’s Dumka and the pieces by Taneyev, Liadov and Borodin were recorded in January 1983 and issued on LP as a coupling for his digital recording of Mussorgsky’s Pictures at an Exhibition. The two pieces from Prokofiev’s Romeo and Juliet were taped in 1968 as couplings for the composer’s Eighth Piano Sonata.

“This wide-ranging conspectus of Russian piano miniatures spans Ashkenazy's career from 1963 to 2004. Fine playing, occasionally short on charm.” BBC Music Magazine, December 2012 ****

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Russian Piano Music

Russian Piano Music


Balakirev:

Toccata

Au Jardin

Polka in F sharp minor

Borodin:

Petite Suite: In a Monastery

Scherzo in A flat

Nocturne from Petite Suite

Cui:

Prelude No. 9 in E major, Op. 64

Prelude No. 10 in G sharp major, Op. 64

Prelude No. 2 in E minor, Op. 64

Prelude No. 8 in C sharp major, Op. 64

Mussorgsky:

Une Larme (A Tear)

Ein Kinderscherz

In the Village

Deux souvenirs d'enfance

Rimsky Korsakov:

Scherzino, Op. 11, No. 3

Kleines Lied in Dorisch auf 'e'

Novellette op. 11 No. 2


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Voyage en Russie

Voyage en Russie


Borodin:

Scherzo in A flat

Mussorgsky:

Jeux d’enfants: Les quatre coins

Une Larme (A Tear)

Rachmaninov:

Étude-Tableau, Op. 39 No. 5 in E flat minor

Daisies, Op. 38 No. 3

Prelude Op. 3 No. 2 in C sharp minor

Prelude Op. 23 No. 5 in G minor

Rimsky Korsakov:

Flight of the Bumble Bee

Scriabin:

Prelude, Op. 9 No. 1 in C sharp minor for the left hand

Prelude, Op. 15 No. 4 in E sharp minor

Étude Op. 2 No. 1 in C sharp minor

Etude in D Sharp Minor, Op. 12, No. 8

Mazurka in D Sharp Minor, Op. 3 No. 5

Prelude, Op. 16 No. 4 in E flat minor

Vers la flamme, Op. 72

Tchaikovsky:

Chant sans paroles, Op. 40 No. 6

Song Without Words in F major, Op. 2, No. 3

Valse-scherzo in A major for piano, Op. 7


From nostalgic memories, the sound of bells, the winds of the steppes, to visions of a flickering future; Russian piano music, from Mussorgsky to Scriabin, finds its perilous equilibrium in a romantic past, beyond the immense, icy landscapes, with intimate confessions from heartbroken souls, with a virtuosity vying with the opera and the orchestra yet which retains the gentleness of a lullaby, of a child's laughter, of a disenchanted poem scribbled down one evening of drunken melancholy. From Tchaikovsky to Rachmaninov, by way of Rimsky-Korsakov, Borodin and Mussorgsky, it is a journey that takes us from St Petersburg to Moscow, across that vast country with its universal emotions. The piano is the instrument of kings, in the nineteenth century above all. Rachmaninoff, as we know from his recordings, was probably the greatest of them all: virtuosic and inspired, a visionary and a poet. Scriabin, before he injured his right hand (whence the Prelude for left hand op.9), also planned a solo career. Mussorgsky, too, was an excellent pianist. Only Rimsky-Korsakov, Borodin and Tchaikovsky were no more than competent amateurs on the piano, but that did not prompt them to give up composing for the instrument - far from it, in fact.

“although she brings out their poetry and reveals witty dexterity in Flight of the Bumblebee, Le Guay is no match for the great interpreters in certain cornerstones of the repertory.” BBC Music Magazine, August 2012 ***

“Personal and eloquent, warm and affectionate, nothing is heavily personalised or idiosyncratic. For the most part her manner is gentle and caressing, almost as if played before a small circle of intimate friends...In larger-scale Scriabin and Rachmaninov her unerring balance of sense and sensibility provides a fine alternative to, say, Horowitz's searing intensity” Gramophone Magazine, October 2012

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Piano Works by ‘The Mighty Handful’

Piano Works by ‘The Mighty Handful’


Balakirev:

Islamey - Oriental Fantasy

Rêverie in F major

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Borodin:

Petite Suite

Scherzo in A flat

Cui:

Nocturne in F sharp minor

Mussorgsky:

Pictures at an Exhibition (piano version)

Rimsky Korsakov:

Scherzino, Op. 11, No. 3

Waltz, Op. 15, No. 1

Romanze A flat major op. 15 No. 2


Philip Edward Fisher (piano)

On his first solo recital disc for Chandos, Philip Edward Fisher performs piano works by members of the so-called ‘Mighty Handful’, a group of five Russian composers – César Cui, Alexander Borodin, Mily Balakirev, Modest Mussorgsky, and Nikolay Rimsky-Korsakov – who in the 1860s banded together in an attempt to create a truly national school of Russian music, free of the perceived stiffling influences of Italian opera, German lieder, and other western European forms.

The Mighty Handful were all self-trained amateurs. Borodin combined composing with a career in chemistry; Rimsky-Korsakov was a naval offier; and Mussorgsky had been in the Guards, then in the civil service, before taking up music. They tried to incorporate in their music what they heard in village songs, in Cossack dances, in church chants, and the tolling of church bells; in short, the music of the Mighty Handful was brimming with sounds that echoed Russian life. From the more traditional, Chopin-esque Nocturne by Cui through to the technical innovations and strong Caucasus folk elements of Balakirev’s Islamey, the works here all show the composers’ strong connections with the past and the compositional innovations that would come to influence the likes of Prokofiev and Stravinsky, and help change the course of Russian music for years to come.

A graduate of the Royal Academy of Music and The Juilliard School, the pianist Philip Edward Fisher is widely recognised as a unique performer of refined style and exceptional versatility. He has performed across Europe, Africa, and North America where he made his New York debut at Alice Tully Hall in 2002, performing Rachmaninoff’s Third Piano Concerto, and has also appeared at the Merkin Concert Hall and the Avery Fisher Hall at Lincoln Center. At home he has given performances at the Purcell Room, Wigmore Hall, Barbican Centre, and Royal Festival Hall in London, Usher Hall in Edinburgh, Glasgow Royal Concert Hall, and Symphony Hall in Birmingham. He has appeared as a soloist with the Royal Scottish National Orchestra, Copenhagen Philharmonic Orchestra, Toledo Symphony Orchestra, and Juilliard Symphony Orchestra, and worked with performers such as exclusive Chandos artist bassoonist Karen Geoghegan, the tenor Robert White, pianist Sara Buechner, and violinists Elmar Oliveira, Philippe Graffin, and Augustin Hadelich. In 2001, Philip Edward Fisher received the Julius Isserlis Award from The Royal Philharmonic Society in London.

“Fisher's decision to fashion a recital from the works of all five has considerable appeal.Their piano music varies in quality, however...Borodin's Petite Suite comes over as a work of exquisite grace and melodic charm that deserves to be much better known. It suits Fisher's refined style rather well, too. As with the music, so his playing tends to variability. Islamey is dazzling. Pictures is very reined in and meditative” The Guardian, 12th May 2011 ****

“It was a good idea to group the piano works of five composers who played a vital role in the evolution of Russian music, for they offer variety aplenty. In “Pictures at an Exhibition” Fisher’s easy-on-the-ear musicality more than compensates for his lack of temperamental swagger and thunderous tone.” Financial Times, 14th May 2011 ***

“Pictures is given a fine, muscular performance without being outstanding; Islamey boasts transparently clear textures at the expense of spine-tingling bravura...An interesting concept to have keyboard works from each of 'The Five' ranged alongside one another on the same disc” Classic FM Magazine, July 2011 ***

“Fisher gives thoroughly compelling performances of both Pictures and Islamey, finding apt characterisation and colour in the Mussorgsky without falling into the trap, as some pianists have done, of trying to reinvent the music...[Islamey] comes across with a winning mix of allure and brilliance. the disc reveals an intriguing facet of a coterie of composers generally remembered for their orchestral music and operas.” The Telegraph, 9th June 2011 *****

“[Pictures and Islamey] give him a chance to show off his virtuosity and assured technique...Still, the real interest here resides in the more modest works that come in between...This music may be light, but it still stands up to repeated listening.” BBC Music Magazine, July 2011 ****

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Borodin - Complete Piano Works

Borodin - Complete Piano Works


Borodin:

Petite Suite

Scherzo in A flat

In the Steppes of Central Asia

original transcription by the composer for piano 4 hands

Tarantella in D for piano 4 hands

for piano 4 hands

Allegretto in D flat for piano 4 hands

for piano 4 hands

Scherzo in E for piano 4 hands

for piano 4 hands

Adagio patetico in A flat

Polka Hélène in D minor for piano 4 hands

for piano 4 hands

Paraphrases (24 variations & 15 little pieces based on a simple theme, for piano, by Borodin, Liszt, Cui, Liadov & Rimsky-Korsakov)

Ravel:

A la manière de Borodine


Marco Rapetti (piano)

Alexander Borodin was a part-time composer whose primary career was in science. Borodin was a member of the ‘Mighty Handful’, the group of five Russian composers which included Balakirev, Cui, Rimsky Korsakov and Mussorgsky, who established a Russian school of composition building on the legacy of Mikhail Glinka.

Borodin liked to joke, ‘I compose only when I am ill’, and he left a small body of work, much of it in a fragmentary state at his death, which was later edited and completed by Rimsky and Glazunov. However, such is the quality of these works that his place among the greatest of Russian composers is assured. The three symphonies, In the Steppes of central Asia, the opera Prince Igor and the two string quartets are masterpieces.

Borodin studied the piano as a small child, and the earliest work on this survey of his complete output for piano is the Polka Helene, composed when he was just 9 years old. Paraphrases on a Simple Theme was a venture with Lyadov, Rimsky-Korsakov and Cui, with Liszt providing the prelude. Written for fun, they are delightfully witty.

The Petite Suite is a collection of short works Borodin composed over a number of years, an example of high class salon music – Borodin knew his Kalkbrenner, Field and Hummel well. The Scherzo in A flat from 1885 is a wonderful work, often played as an encore by Rachmaninov. Ravel admired Borodin, and had studied his music as a teenager, and his affectionate tribute to Borodin is included in the little Waltz in the manner of Borodin.

Contains the premiere recordings of ‘In the Steppes of central Asia’ in the composers arrangement for 4 hands, plus premier recordings for the Scherzo in E, Allegretto in D flat, Polka Helene, and Adagio Patetico in A flat

Comprehensive booklet note

Marco Rapetti has recorded the piano music of Lyapunov, as well as the sonata by Dukas and works for two pianos by Malipiero

Recording made in 2008

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Russian Reveries

Russian Reveries


Balakirev:

Polka in F sharp minor

Islamey - Oriental Fantasy

Borodin:

Petite Suite

Scherzo in A flat

Glinka:

Barcarolle

Griboyedov:

Waltz in A flat major

Waltz in E minor

Kalinnikov, Vasily:

Nocturne in F sharp minor

Elegy in B flat minor

Rebikov:

Christmas tree : Waltz

Mazurka in A minor

Scriabin:

Mazurka in C major, Op. 25 No. 2

Mazurka in E minor, Op. 25 No. 3

Two Pieces, Op. 57


Vladimir Leyetchkiss (piano)

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The World of Borodin

The World of Borodin


Borodin:

Prince Igor Overture

London Symphony Orchestra

String Quartet No. 2: 3rd Movement (Notturno)

Borodin Quartet

Greshno tait, ya skuki ne lyublyu (from Prince Igor)

Nicolai Ghiaurov (bass)

Scherzo in A flat

Vladimir Ashkenazy (piano)

Prince Igor: Polovtsian Dances (with chorus)

London Symphony Orchestra and Chorus

In the Steppes of Central Asia

L'Orchestre de la Suisse Romande

Dlya beregov otchizni dal'noy (For the Shores of thy Far Native Land)

Nicolai Ghiaurov (bass)

Symphony No. 2 in B minor

London Symphony Orchestra


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The Art of Rachmaninov, Vol. 8

The Art of Rachmaninov, Vol. 8


Borodin:

Scherzo in A flat

Rachmaninov:

Hopak

Étude-Tableau, Op. 33 No. 2 in C major

La Foire, Op. 33, No. 7

Étude-Tableau, Op. 39 No. 6 in A minor

Daisies, Op. 38 No. 3

Polka de V.R.

Oriental Sketch (1917)

Lilacs, Op. 21 No. 5

Humoresque in G major, Op. 10 No. 5

Moment musical No. 2 in E flat minor, Op. 16 No. 2

Barcarolle in G minor. Op. 10 No. 3

Prelude Op. 23 No. 5 in G minor

Prelude Op. 23 No. 10 in G flat major

Prelude Op. 32 No. 3 in E major

Prelude Op. 32 No. 5 in G major

Prelude Op. 32 No. 6 in F minor

Prelude Op. 32 No. 7 in F major

Prelude Op. 32 No. 12 in G sharp minor

Rimsky Korsakov:

Flight of the Bumble Bee

Scriabin:

Prelude, Op. 11 No. 8 in F sharp minor

Tchaikovsky:

Waltz in A flat, Op. 40 No. 8

Humoresque, Op. 10 No. 2

The Seasons, Op. 37b: November (Troika)

Lullaby


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Sergei Rachmaninov: Complete RCA Recordings

Sergei Rachmaninov: Complete RCA Recordings


Bach, J S:

Partita for solo violin No. 3 in E major, BWV1006: suite (Gigue, Gavotte & Preludio)

Partita No. 4 in D major, BWV828: Sarabande

Beethoven:

The Ruins of Athens -Turkish March

Variations (32) on an Original Theme in C minor, WoO 80

Violin Sonata No. 8 in G major, Op. 30 No. 3

Bizet:

L'Arlesienne Suite No. 1: II. Minuetto

arr. Rachmaninov

Borodin:

Scherzo in A flat

Chopin:

Ballade No. 3 in A flat major, Op. 47

Mazurka No. 41 in C sharp minor, Op. 63 No. 3

Mazurka No. 47 in A minor, Op. 68 No. 2

Nocturne No. 2 in E flat major, Op. 9 No. 2

Nocturne No. 5 in F sharp major, Op. 15 No. 2

Piano Sonata No. 2 in B flat minor, Op. 35 'Marche funèbre': 3rd movement (Funeral March)

Scherzo No. 3 in C sharp minor, Op. 39

Waltzes (selection)

Debussy:

Docteur Gradus ad Parnassum (from Children's Corner)

Golliwog's Cakewalk (from Children's Corner)

Gluck:

Orfeo ed Euridice: Mélodie

Grieg:

Lyric Pieces Op. 12: No. 4 - Dance of the Fairies

Violin Sonata No. 3 in C minor, Op. 45

Handel:

Keyboard Suite, HWV 430 in E major 'The Harmonious Blacksmith': Air & Variations

Henselt:

Etude caracteristique, Op. 2 No. 6

Kreisler:

Liebesfreud

Liebesleid

Liszt:

Polish Songs S480 No. 1 "Maiden's Wish" (after Chopin)

Polish Songs S480 No. 6 "Die Heimkehr (Narzeczony, Homeward)" (after Chopin)

Gnomenreigen, S145 No. 2

Hungarian Rhapsody, S244 No. 2 in C sharp minor

Das Wandern (No. 1 from Müllerlieder von Franz Schubert, S565)

Polonaise No. 2 in E major, S223 No. 2

Schwanengesang - Vierzehn Lieder Von Franz Schubert, S560

Mendelssohn:

A Midsummer Night's Dream: Scherzo

Etude in F major, Op. 104b No. 2

Etude in A Minor Op. 104b

Song without Words, Op. 67 No. 4 in C major 'Spinning Song' or 'Bee's Wedding'

Moszkowski:

La Jongleuse, Op. 52 No. 4

Mozart:

Rondo alla Turca from Piano Sonata No. 11, K331

Mussorgsky:

Sorochintsy Fair: Gopak

Paderewski:

Minuet in G major, Op. 14 No. 1

Rachmaninov:

Piano Concertos Nos. 1-4 (complete)

Philadelphia Orchestra

The Isle of the Dead - Symphonic Poem, Op. 29

Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini, Op. 43

Étude-Tableau, Op. 33 No. 2 in C major

Étude-Tableau, Op. 39 No. 6 in A minor

Moment musical No. 2 in E flat minor, Op. 16 No. 2

Morceaux de Salon, Op. 10: No. 4, Melodie in E minor

Polichinelle, Op. 3, No. 4

Serenade, Op. 3 No. 5

Barcarolle in G minor. Op. 10 No. 3

Humoresque in G major, Op. 10 No. 5

Oriental Sketch (1917)

Piano Concertos Nos. 1-4 (complete)

Polka de V.R.

Polka italienne

Prelude Op. 3 No. 2 in C sharp minor

Prelude Op. 23 No. 10 in G flat major

Prelude Op. 32 No. 12 in G sharp minor

Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini, Op. 43

Powder and Paint (No. 3 from Three Russian Songs, Op. 41)

Lilacs, Op. 21 No. 5

Daisies, Op. 38 No. 3

Symphony No. 3 in A minor, Op. 44

The Isle of the Dead - Symphonic Poem, Op. 29

Vocalise, Op. 34 No. 14

Rimsky Korsakov:

Flight of the Bumble Bee

Schubert:

Impromptu in A flat major, D899 No. 4

Grand Duo for Violin and Piano in A Major, D574

Schumann:

Carnaval, Op. 9

Der Kontrabandiste, Op. 74 No. 10

Scriabin:

Prelude, Op. 11 No. 8 in F sharp minor

Strauss, J, II:

Man lebt nur einmal!, Op. 167

Tausig:

Pastorale in E minor (after Scarlatti)

Tchaikovsky:

Waltz in A flat, Op. 40 No. 8

Lullaby, Op. 16 No. 1

The Seasons, Op. 37b: November (Troika)


Sergei Rachmaninov (piano)

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Borodin Edition

Borodin Edition


Borodin:

Prince Igor

Sofia National Opera Chorus, Sofia Festival Orchestra, Emil Tchakarov

String Sextet in D minor

Alexander Detisov, Alexander Polonsky (violins), Igor Suliga, Alexander Bobrovsky (violas), Alexander Osokin, Alexander Gotthelf (cellos)

String Quartet No. 1 in A major

Moscow String Quartet

String Quartet No. 2 in D major

Moscow String Quartet

Symphonies Nos. 1-3 (complete)

Bolshoi Theatre Symphony Orchestra, Mark Ermler

In the Steppes of Central Asia

Armenian Philharmonic Orchestra, Loris Tjeknavorianich

Trio in G major (unfinished)

Alexander Detisov, Alexander Polonsky (violins), Alexander Osokin (cello)

Trio in G minor for two violins and cello on a Russian song ‘What have I done to hurt you?’

Alexander Detisov, Alexander Polonsky (violins), Alexander Osokin (cello)

Piano Trio in D major

Moscow Trio

Piano Quintet in C minor

Alexander Mndoiantz (piano)

Moscow String Quartet

String Quintet in F minor

Moscow String Quartet with Alexander Gotthelf (cello)

Serenata alla Spagnola

Moscow String Quartet

Petite Suite

Marco Rapetti (piano)

Scherzo in A flat

Marco Rapetti (piano)

In the Steppes of Central Asia

(transcription for piano 4 hands by the composer)

Marco Rapetti, Giampaolo Nuti (piano)

Paraphrases (24 variations & 15 little pieces based on a simple theme, for piano, by Borodin, Liszt, Cui, Liadov & Rimsky-Korsakov)

excerpts

Marco Rapetti (piano)

Razlyubila krasna devitsa (The Pretty Girl No Longer Loves Me)

Nikolai Okhotnikov (bass), Yuri Serov (piano)

Slushayte, podruzhen'ki, pesenku moyu (Listen to My Song, Little Friend)

Marianna Tarassova (mezzo-soprano), Yuri Serov (piano)

Krasavitsa-ribachka (The Beautiful Fisher Maiden)

Konstantin Pluzhnikov (tenor), Yuri Serov (piano)

Chto ti rano, zoren'ka (Why Art Thou So Early, Dawn?)

Andrey Slavny (baritone), Yuri Serov (piano)

Spyashchaya knyazhna (The Sleeping Princess)

Marianna Tarassova (mezzo-soprano), Yuri Serov (piano)

Otravoy polni moi pesni (My Songs Are Filled with Poison)

Nikolai Okhotnikov (bass), Yuri Serov (piano)

Morskaya tsaryevna (The Princess Of the Sea)

Marianna Tarassova (mezzo-soprano), Yuri Serov (piano)

Fal'shivaya nota (The False Note)

Konstantin Pluzhnikov (tenor), Yuri Serov (piano)

Pesnya tyomnogo lesa (Song of the Dark Forest)

Nikolai Okhotnikov (bass), Yuri Serov (piano)

Iz slyoz moikh (From My Tears)

Nikolai Okhotnikov (bass), Yuri Serov (piano)

More (The Sea)

Konstantin Pluzhnikov (tenor), Yuri Serov (piano)

Spes' (Pride)

Nikolai Okhotnikov (bass), Yuri Serov (piano)

Dlya beregov otchizni dal'noy (For the Shores of thy Far Native Land)

Nikolai Okhotnikov (bass), Yuri Serov (piano)

U lyudey-to v domu (At Some Folks' Houses)

Andrey Slavny (baritone), Yuri Serov (piano)

Chudniy sad (The Magic Garden)

Marianna Tarassova (mezzo-soprano), Yuri Serov (piano)

Arabskaya melodiya (Arabian Melody)

Nikolai Okhotnikov (bass), Yuri Serov (piano)


The only serious Borodin Collection in the market.

Borodin, a member of the “Mighty Handful” (a group of Russian composers with the same creative goals), was a scientist by profession (chemistry), and composed in his spare time. No “amateurish” quality however can be traced in his (relatively small) oeuvre, which abounds in sophisticated, romantic harmonies and melodies, a firm feeling for structure, and a keen sense for “couleur locale”, without too overtly references to Russian folklore.

The set (near complete) presents the 3 symphonies, the complete chamber music, songs, the complete piano music and the famous opera Prince Igor.

Mostly Russian performers: the Moscow Trio, soprano Marianna Tarassova and the great Nikolai Ghiaurov in Prince Igor.

Alexander Porfireyevich Borodin was the illegitimate son of a prince and his mistress, educated at home in St Petersburg by his mother. Although music was an early passion, he discovered his avocation once he matriculated at the city's Medical Surgical Academy. A chemist he became, and a good one, though not without his extracurricular enthusiasms: the head of department once admonished him thus, mid lecture: 'Mr Borodin, busy yourself a little less with songs.

We have left to us a small, eccentrically proportioned body of work which acknowledges the learnt influence of Wagner and Chopin in their respective fields while nonetheless cultivating a personal and nationally inflected voice that was principally nurtured by his fellow member of 'The Mighty Handful', Mily Balakirev.

That voice was first cultivated in abstract orchestral works, which met with mixed acclaim, but the Second Symphony is one of the most popular Russian works of its kind; perhaps less well known these days than half a century ago, but full of Borodin's trademark, lyrical melodies, bending towards a wistfulness and melancholy that never threatens to break into outright hysteria unlike the work of his contemporary Tchaikovsky.

Songs and chamber music are barely known outside his home country, but they are worth discovering, as this unique edition will quickly reveal. And then there's his sprawling, unfinished masterpiece: Prince Igor, work of almost two decades, completed and partly orchestrated by RimskyKorsakov and Glazunov, the brainchild of the Mighty Handful's christener, Vladimir Stasov. This chronicle of a bloody but exuberant period in Russian history makes the most of Borodin's fascination with Russia's outposts, in music of 'oriental' flavour that survives in popular recognition through the bounding energy of the Polovtsian Dances.

“uniquely valuable for letting us hear so much of the composer’s music that is otherwise scarce or simply unobtainable. For that reason, and at Brilliant’s price, these recordings are an essential acquisition for anyone interested in the Russian repertory of the nineteenth century.” MusicWeb International, March 2013

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Brilliant Classics - 94410

(CD - 10 discs)

Normally: $36.25

Special: $29.00

In stock - usually despatched within 1 working day.

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