Borodin’s splendid epic of Old Russia was recorded in Paris in 1966 with the forces of Sofia National Opera, conducted by Polish-born Jerzy Semkow, a protégé of the legendary Russian maestro Yevgeny Mravinsky. The great Bulgarian bass Boris Christoff, a master of vocal characterisation, takes two roles: Prince Igor’s wicked brother-in-law Prince Galitsky and the surprisingly benign Khan Konchak, who famously commands his people, the Polovtsy, to dance for his noble Russian prisoner of war.
This set of Beethoven string quartets by the Borodin Quartet reflects a mature perspective on the works. It's not that it lacks energy the Vivaces are vivacious and the Allegros have plenty of brio but it has wisdom and a maturity not generally characteristic of performances by younger quartets. These performances are comparable with the Budapest Quartet's last set of the quartets.
For the first time in nearly 100 years, Borodin’s defining Russian epic, famous for its Polovtsian Dances, comes to the MET.
The result is attractive and gripping because the production knows what it wants to see (personal psychodrama than Kismet-style pseudo-orientalism)…Both Ildar Abdrazakov…and Oksana Dyka inhabit these roles with vocal agility and, in their acting, a refreshing lack of the old-fashioned hamminess that used to pass for charisma in 19th-century Russian opera. (Gramophone)
A true celebration, ushering in the New Year with one of the finest orchestras and greatest conductors in the world. The 2007 Gala from Berlin features the Berliner Philharmoniker and Sir Simon Rattle in Alexander Borodin's Second Symphony, a richly lyrical work of immense poetic grandeur and fairy-tale magic, in a programme that also includes one of the greatest classical hits ever: Modest Mussorgsky's 'Pictures at an Exhibition'.
Valery Gergiev directs the Kirov Opera and Ballet in this magnificent 1998 production of Borodin’s "Prince Igor", presented in a new Mariinsky Theatre performing edition and featuring Mikhail Fokine’s original choreography in the famous Polovtsian Dances. Its four acts tell of the struggle between the Russians and Polovtsian nomads, of Prince Igor’s capture and escape from his noble opponent, Khan Konchak, and of love between Igor’s son, Vladimir, and Konchak’s daughter, Konchakovna.
The Borodin Trio's recording of Mendelssohn's two piano trios was first released in 1985 and reissued in 2009, in time for the Mendelssohn bicentennial. The performances may not be as warmly opulent as fans of the group might like. Fans used to their big-vibrato, heart-on-the-sleeve approach to the trios of Schubert and Brahms could miss the Trio's usual ultra-lush ensemble and super-heated sonority.
For anyone interested in Glinka's Trio, choice here is simple. The new Borodin Trio performance is greatly superior to the Pavane version cited above, which is on the stiff side and not blessed with a very distinguished recording (it is coupled with Beethoven's Clarinet Trio). Not only is the sound far better on the new Chandos, but the playing has a sweep and eloquence, also a neat wit, of which the work stands in some need.
Both these couplings are extremely fine, but taken together they add up to even more than the sum of their parts. The point of coupling Shostakovich’s first and last string quartets is obvious, and the contrast between what the composer himself called his “Springtime Quartet” and the unprecedented sequence of six slow movements written months before his death could not be more poignant.