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Borodin: Symphonies Nos. 1 & 2 Import

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Audio CD, Import, April 4, 1994
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Listen to Samples and Buy MP3s

Songs from this album are available to purchase as MP3s. Click on "Buy MP3" or view the MP3 Album.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         

Samples
Song Title Time Price
  1. Borodin: In the Steppes of Central Asia 7:04$0.99  Buy MP3 
  2. Borodin: Symphony No.1 in E flat - 1. Adagio - Allegro13:12Album Only
  3. Borodin: Symphony No.1 in E flat - 2. Scherzo (Prestissimo) - Trio (Allegro) 6:59$0.99  Buy MP3 
  4. Borodin: Symphony No.1 in E flat - 3. Andante 8:04$0.99  Buy MP3 
  5. Borodin: Symphony No.1 in E flat - 4. Allegro molto vivace 7:06$0.99  Buy MP3 
  6. Borodin: Symphony No.2 in B minor - 1. Allegro 7:14$0.99  Buy MP3 
  7. Borodin: Symphony No.2 in B minor - 2. Scherzo (Prestissimo - Allegretto - Tempo I) 5:08$0.99  Buy MP3 
  8. Borodin: Symphony No.2 in B minor - 3. Andante 8:49$0.99  Buy MP3 
  9. Borodin: Symphony No.2 in B minor - 4. Finale (Allegro) 5:58$0.99  Buy MP3 

Product Details

  • Orchestra: Royal Philharmonic Orchestra
  • Conductor: Vladimir Ashkenazy
  • Composer: Alexander Borodin
  • Audio CD (April 4, 1994)
  • SPARS Code: DDD
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Import
  • Label: London / Decca
  • ASIN: B000004216
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #64,747 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Grady Harp HALL OF FAMETOP 100 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on September 16, 2005
Format: Audio CD
The transition from piano soloist to conductor has been a successful one for Vladimir Ashkenazy. His intuitive approach to internal phrasing brings out some of the more subtle qualities in these particular romantic symphonies. The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra responds sensitively to his demands and the recorded sound from the EMI studios and London halls is excellent.

Other conductors may conduct both Symphony 1 and 2 with more drama than Ashkenazy commands, but the works bear their hearts on their sleeves and for once it is nice to hear the nuances of Borodin's writing rather than the romantic swoop that inspired Kismet! Also included on this album is a sensitive reading of 'In the Steppes of Central Asia', again performed with more clarity than other conductors obtain. For those without recordings of the Borodin symphonies this CD is a fine starting point. Grady Harp, September 05
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By VonStupp on April 14, 2000
Format: Audio CD
Alexander Borodin was part of a group called the Moguchaya Kuchka or the Mighty Handful, five Russian composers dedicated to raising the standards of Russian national classical music. The movement flouted Russian folk-music elements such as tunes, rhythms, modes, and instrumentations from their homeland. Borodin followed in this model, although he was the amateur of the group while pursuing his career as a scientist. This disk features some of his popular concert works: his Symphonies No. 1 & 2, as well as the famous symphonic poem, In the Steppes of Central Asia.

Russian exoticism permeates In the Steppes of Central Asia. The searing heat is depicted from beginning to end by using harmonics on the violins, and a traveling caravan is heard by a modal melody on English horn. As the caravan approaches and the viewer watches the military detail accompanying the caravan, a grand melody enters and the orchestra swells until they pass and fade away, all on a positive note, leaving only the sounds of the desert. A very colorful miniature. The First Symphony is often called Borodin's "Eroica" because of the similar orchestra hits from Beethoven's Third Symphony. In four movements, the first and last movements have great energy and vigor. Both contain an almost jazzy syncopated melody and/or accompaniment, often reminding me of Gershwin, while the rhythmic vitality is indicative of Copland. The colors, however, are obviously Russian, also seen in the fleet-footed scherzo of the second movement. It has a fantastical feeling with great light writing across the orchestra sections; the trio section counters with a Romantic sweep before the return of the opening whimsy.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Joshua Grasso on March 22, 2007
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
I have purchased (and in some cases, sold) every single version of the Borodin symphonies on CD. Borodin's symphonies are strange creatures, in that they "sound" so incredibly spontaneous and gorgeous, and yet, sometimes they don't really take off; in other words, they often sound like colorful suites without any real symphonic proportions or purpose. Several fine versions of No.2, such as Kubelik's and Ansermet's, don't really convince me that this is a first-rate symphony, just generally good music. Ashkenazy's is one of the few versions that makes this music great music and symphonic music.

If nothing else, he makes a resounding case for the neglected First Symphony, which is little short of genius. It is cut very much from the same cloth as other First Symphonies in the 'Mighty Handful': Balakirev's First (who advised Borodin and initially made many "corrections" which Borodin later excised) is a clear model, as is Rimsky's First. While I think Balakirev's is ultimately the strongest of the three Firsts, Borodin's is the most lyrical and inviting: you want to live in this world over and over again, as its melodies are rich and seductive in the best "Oriental" sense of Russian Romanticism. The first movement is powerful and expansive, yet without making an epic statement; the second is a charming scherzo (very much like Balakirev's 1st) with an achingly beautiful trio. But the slow movement is heavenly--one of his greatest, most inpsired creations, and even, if possible, more beautiful than that of No.2. It seems to come out of nowhere, or at least, from the very depths of old world melodies and folksongs. It's timeless and beautiful, and it is scored to perfection (interestingly, this is one of Borodin's only works that was not touched up by Rimsky or Glazunov).
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Ytzan on December 19, 2005
Format: Audio CD
I greatly admire Vladimir Ashkenazy, especially when it comes to Russian composers.Always fresh and dynamic. This CD is also of the same fashion. Great orchestral playing from the Royal Philharmonic, full of passion and vitality. The London/Decca recording is as always excellent giving extra life to the pieces. My favourite - the 1st Symphony. A must have Borodin CD.
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Borodin: Symphonies Nos. 1 & 2
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