Sunday morning music

Doctor, chemist and notable composer Alexander Borodin was a pretty amazing person.  He made major contributions in the field of organic chemistry, as well as some outstanding classical music that’s an integral part of the modern repertoire.  Among the latter is his opera Prince Igor, which wasn’t finished when he died, and was completed by Rimsky-Korsakov, Glazunov and others.  It’s frequently performed in Russia and less frequently in the West.

The Polovtsian Dances from Prince Igor have become a standard part of the classical concert repertoire.  However, their full flavor can’t be captured in a mere orchestral performance.  They’re wild, Slavic, barbarian, filled with color and movement and spectacle.  I count myself lucky to have found this performance of them by the Bolshoi Theater in Moscow, Russia.  Russians can play and perform their country’s music better than anyone else, IMHO – I think they get caught up in it as a sort of gut reaction, not merely as performers or spectators.

Please ignore the French subtitles in this video.  Just play it in full screen mode, and enjoy the spectacle.




  1. I've played both the Polovetsian Dances, and his Symphony #2. Had a blast with both. Both appeared in the 1955 movie Kismet (Stranger in Paradise and the grand vizier's theme). In fact, all the movie's music was taken from Borodin and simply arranged.

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