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Now well over 20-years old, this Naxos CD is certainly worth hearing if you don't have the Borodin symphonies in your collection, particularly as it can be bought for pennies. Stephen Gunzenhauser conducts the then CSR Symphony Orchestra in a blazing perormance of Symphony 1, 2 is pretty good, and the "rump" of the unfinished 3 completes the CD.

A full-time chemist, Borodin is one of the great "what-ifs" in Russian music; even his acknowledged masterpiece, the opera Prince Igor, had to be completed after his early death by Rimsky-Korsakov and Glazunov. Aside from these symphonies and Prince Igor, Borodin left us some lovely chamber music (well worth investigating; try Borodin: String Quartets; String Sextet) a handful of songs, and a few other bit and pieces.

There are, I think, other recordings of these symphonies that are probably a little more polished. My top recommendation is the cycle set down on RCA by Tjeknavorian and the National Philharmonic. This was long unavailable, but can now be found as a good value CD - Borodin - Symphonies Nos 1 - 3, but don't dismiss this Naxos CD!

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on 3 December 2015
Having read the review by Mark Meldon I went ahead and purchased this CD very cheaply. i did not know too much about Borodin so it was an experimental purchase. This CD seems to encompass his complete symphonic output, the third symphony remaining incomplete at his death.
On listening I have to say that it is the slow movement andantees that are, for me, the real stars. The andante [3rd movement] of the First symphony is really lovely with real shades of Mendelssohn, apparently a great favourite of his, according to the sleeve notes.
Overall my feeling is that Borodin is worth giving a try. He doesnt feature that much on the concert repertoire and listening to it you do get a sense of a Russian mood which was trying to break away from the German tradition. Rather like the curates egg I found it good in parts but would certainly recommend it for the beautiful andante, hence the 4 stars. Including postage, its certainly worth the price of a daily newspaper. Sound quality etc is as good as we have come to expect from Naxos.
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on 8 April 2016
Got this for dad and he loves it !!!
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