Alexander Borodin (1833-1887) was a member of the group of Russian composers called The Five or The Mighty Handful (Balakirev, Mussorgsky, Rimsky-Korsakov and Cui) who were dedicated to producing a specifically Russian kind of art music. He described himself as a "Sunday composer" - during the weeks he made a living as a chemist.
Borodin is best known for his symphonies and his opera Prince Igor, which contains his most famous single piece of music, the "Polovetzian dance".
He died suddenly from heart failure during a ball, apparently participating in the festivities very vigorously. Of interest for pianists are a piano trio (lacking the fourth and final movement) and a piano quintet, as well as the Petite Suite and Scherzo, which have both been orchestrated by Glazunov.
Piano Sheet music by Alexander Borodin
Where a number of you listened to "A la maniere de... Emmanuel Chabrier", I thought I'd re-post the companion piece, "A la maniere de... Borodin". To me it always seems odd not to hear them together. Borodin was a member of the Russian National School, "The Five". As you know, he wrote very little piano music, so to capture his style, Ravel drew instead on the orchestral works, specifcally the ''Polovetzian Dances" which gave rise to a very nice musical paraphrase. More characteristically, we think of Ravel's duality as alternating between Classicism and Impressionism--but here he gives us a fleeting glimpse of his seldom heard Romantic idiom. I hope you like it. Feel free to comment.
Dear Mikey: Borodin has a Piano Trio and a Piano Quintet, both of great interest. Unfortunately, the trio lacks a final movement. By the way, there is the Borodin Trio, that is an interesting chamber group. Best wishes!