Tone Poem Tuesday

Whoops, it is Tuesday, isn’t it? Welp!

Some Borodin, then:

Well, before I get to that, background: the Polovtsian Dances are one of Borodin’s most famous works. It is, in fact, an excerpt from his opera Prince Igor. The opera itself hasn’t endured terribly well since its premiere in 1890, mainly because many singers are not trained in the work’s native Russian, and because it’s not entirely by Borodin at all: Borodin himself died before finishing it, so Alexander Glazunov and Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov took it on themselves to complete it. The result is a disjointed opera that doesn’t flow as well as it should with musical unity…but also an opera that is full of brilliantly realized moments by Borodin. The Polovtsian Dances are the Act II showstopper that brings the entire company out to perform this exceptionally evocative and exotic music. In the story, Prince Igor has come to the camp of the Polovtsian tribe, who welcome him with this enchanting tableau of song and dance. It’s hard to listen to this and not want to disappear into this story….


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One Response to Tone Poem Tuesday

  1. Roger says:

    The first time I heard Strangers in Paradise was on the Supremes’ I Hear A Symphony album. By the time I heard the Borodin, I had already sussed out a number of steals from the classics. (I think the 1st was a cover of Nutrocker by Emerson, Lake, and Palmer, originally done by B. Bumble and the Stingers, swiping the beginning of the Nutcracker Suite.)

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