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  • Borodin: Symphonies Nos. 1, 2 & 3
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Borodin: Symphonies Nos. 1, 2 & 3

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Audio CD, July 26, 2011
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Song TitleArtist Time Price
listen  1. Symphony No. 1 in E flat major *: I. Adagio - Allegro - AndantinoSeattle Symphony Orchestra12:32Album Only
listen  2. Symphony No. 1 in E flat major *: II. Scherzo: Prestissimo - Trio: AllegroSeattle Symphony Orchestra 6:51$0.89  Buy MP3 
listen  3. Symphony No. 1 in E flat major *: III. AndanteSeattle Symphony Orchestra 7:41$0.89  Buy MP3 
listen  4. Symphony No. 1 in E flat major *: IV. Alegro molto vivoSeattle Symphony Orchestra 7:08$0.89  Buy MP3 
listen  5. Symphony No. 2 in B minor: I. AllegroSeattle Symphony Orchestra 6:56$0.89  Buy MP3 
listen  6. Symphony No. 2 in B minor: II. Scherzo: Prestissimo. Trio: AllegrettoSeattle Symphony Orchestra 5:31$0.89  Buy MP3 
listen  7. Symphony No. 2 in B minor: III. AndanteSeattle Symphony Orchestra 7:46$0.89  Buy MP3 
listen  8. Symphony No. 2 in B minor: IV. Finale: AllegroSeattle Symphony Orchestra 6:19$0.89  Buy MP3 
listen  9. Symphony No. 3 in A minor (unfinished) (orch. A.K. Glazunov): I. Moderato assaiSeattle Symphony Orchestra 7:59Album Only
listen10. Symphony No. 3 in A minor (unfinished) (orch. A.K. Glazunov): II. Scherzo: Vivo - Trio: ModeratoSeattle Symphony Orchestra 9:36Album Only

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Product Details

  • Orchestra: Seattle Symphony
  • Conductor: Gerard Schwarz
  • Composer: Alexander Borodin
  • Audio CD (July 26, 2011)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Naxos
  • ASIN: B0052FG82W
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #145,800 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Borodin's symphonies exude lyricism and panache. The First took five years to complete but is a work of seamless melodic invention owing something to Mendelssohn, whose influence infuses it with delicious lightness. The Second Symphony is a more explicitly Russian work, pulsing with festive and march-like elements, high-spirited and boldly nationalistic. The Third was left incomplete, and was reconstructed and orchestrated by Glazunov with considerable facility and imagination. Gerard Schwarz and the Seattle Symphony have already demonstrated their prowess in music by another of the 'Mighty Five', Rimsky- Korsakov's Sheherazade (8572693), acclaimed as 'world class nothing short of spectacular' (MusicWeb International).


10/10: If you're looking for a stellar disc containing all three Borodin symphonies in top-notch sound (the Third left incomplete, its two movements orchestrated by Glazunov), then look no further. Gerard Schwarz and his players seem to have developed a real affinity for Russian music, as their previous Rimsky-Korsakov disc suggests. The First Symphony sounds unusually cogent and masterly in their hands. Listen to the bite of the lower brass in the outer movements, and hear the plaintive songfulness of the woodwinds in the Andante. It's a true Russian sound.

The same idiomatic characteristics enhance the Second Symphony's gutsy opening string theme, while the finale simply explodes with color and energy. Borodin's Second is one of those works that everyone takes for granted, but its compact 25 minutes or so comprises one of the very best Russian symphonies of any period. It has enjoyed many fine performances, but this one is every bit as good as the best of them, and as already noted, the sonics are splendid. Don't hesitate for a minute., David Hurwitz, August 2011

Customer Reviews

3.8 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Patrick Yamada on December 4, 2011
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Before listening to this recording I had listened to the following recordings in my collection:

Symphonies No. 1 & 3 by Evgeny Svetlanov and the USSR State Academic Orchestra, 1983 (Le Chant du Monde)
Symphonies No. 1, 2 & 3 by Neeme Jarvi and the Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra, 1990 (Deutsche Grammophon)
Symphony No. 2 by Enrique Batiz and the Symphony Orchestra of the State of Mexico, 1984 (MusicMasters)
Symphony No. 2 by Anshel Brusilow and the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra, 1976 (EMI)

In comparison with the others, I find the sound quality on this recording top notch (obviously, it is the latest recording and has every advantage in available technology). This is especially apparent when listening through headphones.

This disc brings out details in the First Symphony I had not found in the aforementioned recordings, especially in the woodwinds. This recording even sounds good in my car, which is less than an ideal context.

I separate performances of the Second Symphony into two basic camps-- those that start out slow or fast. Yes, this is simplistic. Schwarz takes the fast route (along with Batiz), making the opening sound dramatic but not too menacing. Brusilow and Jarvi's recordings begin sounding heavy and melodramatic in comparison. The difference in tempo becomes the most apparent in the third movement (Andante). Had I not heard the other recordings first I would not have thought this performance at all unusual, so I take the preference in tempo to be one of personal taste. The Finale sounds the most similar to others' performances, and it rounds off the work with an exciting, folksy end to Borodin's most Russian-sounding symphony.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Dean Frey on November 10, 2011
Format: Audio CD
Gerard Schwarz and his Seattle players have excelled in Russian repertoire, with a really excellent Rimsky-Korsakov series on Naxos. Their mastery extends to the music of Alexander Borodin, the professional chemist who excelled at his avocation of composing. The great, nationalist 2nd Symphony is presented to excellent effect by the Seattle Symphony, playing as well as I've heard (and they have recorded a very large amount of interesting repertoire over the years). In the First Symphony Borodin is learning to write orchestral music. He succeeds brilliantly, especially in the long first movement. Schwarz makes the best possible case for this work.

The Third Symphony is such an interesting work, a reconstruction by Glazunov of sketches of two movements left unfinished by Borodin at his death. A spare and wistful work, it's an impressive achievement in its own right, but also sadly points to what might have been if the composer hadn't died so young.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Gail Knowles on September 24, 2011
Format: Audio CD
Borodin's Symphony number 2 is widely known but sadly numbers 1 and 3 are not. Even though number 3 was not completed by Borodin, it is a wonderful work. These performances are totally sensational both in performance and sound. For comparison, number 2 is far superior the both Kleiber (father and son) performances. I highly recommend this wonderful recording.
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