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All Listed Works Edition Silvertrust
Alexander Borodin

Alexander Borodin (1833-1887)

Nationality: Russian
Born: November 12, 1833, St. Petersburg Died: February 27, 1887, St. Petersburg (age 53)

Grand Trio for String Trio in G major (for 2 violins and cello)

(for 2 violins and cello)
10:03 I. Allegro
8:52 II. Andante
Duration: 19 minutes (approximately)
Composed: 1859-1862 (age 25-29)
Published: 1949
2 recordings, 4 videos
autoopen autoplay
10:03
Alexander Detisov, Alexander Polonsky, Alexander Osokin
I. Allegro
8:52
Alexander Detisov, Alexander Polonsky, Alexander Osokin
II. Andante
10:03
Moscow String Quartet
I. Allegro
8:52
Moscow String Quartet
II. Andante
From Edition Silvertrust

Alexander Borodin While Alexander Borodin (1833-1887) is fairly well-known, it is his orchestral pieces and not his chamber music which has made his name. Nine out of ten people could not tell you that the famous Borodin melody in the popular Broadway musical Kismet is from his Second String Quartet. But Borodin wrote several lovely chamber music works. These fall into two distinct periods. The first is from his time in Germany during the late 1850's when he was doing post graduate work in chemistry. His main occupation was that of a Professor Chemistry at the university in St. Petersburg. Music was only a hobby he engaged in for relaxation. The second period dates from his time in St. Petersburg when he came under the influence of and received considerable help from Rimsky-Korsakov. Tchaikovsky was to quip, "Oh Borodin, a good chemist, but he cannot write a proper measure without Rimsky helping him."

There is virtually no information about Borodin's String Trio in G Major, the so-called No.2. This is based on the assumption of some Borodin scholars that it was composed between 1855 and 1860. Other scholars have claimed it dates from 1847 which would make it Borodin's earliest work, since he would have been 14 at the time. The manuscript bears the inscription 'Grand Trio' and although only the first two movements survive, it is clearly written on a much bigger scale than his other trio which is really only a theme a variations. No one knows for sure if Borodin ever completed the work. Hence, the last two movements may never have existed, or if he did complete them they are lost. Listening to the opening movement, Allegro, one could easily conclude that this trio was written before the g minor trio as the music shows the string influence of Mozart, Hummel and the earlier Romantics. Yet, the writing is more accomplished and detailed than that in the first trio. The second movement is a lovely Andante.

The work remained as a forgotten manuscript until it was finally published by the Soviet State Music Publishers in 1949. That edition was, to the best of our knowledge, never available in the West. Our edition is a reprint of the Soviet edition. Trios for 2 Violins and Cello after 1800 became a rarity. There are very few from the Romantic period and as such this is a useful addition to the literature.

© Edition Silvertrust. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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