Philip Hale's Boston Symphony Programme Notes: Historical, Critical, and Descriptive Comment on Music and Composers

By John N. Burk; Philip Hale | Go to book overview

ALEXANDER PORPHIRIEVITCH
BORODIN

(Born at St. Petersburg, November 12, 1833; 1
died there February 28, 1887)


SYMPHONY NO. 2, IN B MINOR, OP. 5
i. Allegro moderato
ii. Molto vivo
iii. Andante
iv. Allegro

ONLY A RUSSIAN can do justice to this music, which is wildly Russian; that is to say, the Russia of the Orient. One is tempted, hearing the repetitions of the first leading theme, a motto phrase it may be called, to say with Hamlet: "Leave thy damnable faces and begin," but the monotony of repetition becomes irrepressive. A Russian critic was reminded more than once in the course of the first and last movements of the ancient Russian knights in their awkwardness, also in their greatness. We are told that Borodin intended to portray them in tones. He himself said that in the slow movement he wished to recall the songs of Slav troubadours; to picture in the first movement the gatherings of

____________________
1
The year 1834 has been generally accepted as the year of Borodin's birth. M. D. Calvocoressi (in the London Musical Times, JUNE, 1934) reported that Serge Dianin had examined the church registers in Leningrad, and other documents which proved the date to have been October 31 (November 12), 1833, not 1834. " Borodin himself knew this quite well until October 31, 1873, when he wrote to his wife: 'Today is my fortieth birthday.' But on that very day an old servant of his mother, Catherine Beltzman by name, assured him that he was thirty-nine years old, not forty. Borodin was delighted, and never troubled to verify the in-formation."—EDITOR.

-[70]-

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Philip Hale's Boston Symphony Programme Notes: Historical, Critical, and Descriptive Comment on Music and Composers
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Philip Hale's Boston Symphony Programme Notes - Historical, Critical, and Descriptive Comment on Music and Composers *
  • Editor's Note v
  • Contents ix
  • Introduction xvii
  • Johann Sebastian Bach i
  • Ludwig Van Beethoven 7
  • Hector Berlioz 56
  • Ernest Bloch 66
  • Alexander Porphirievitch Borodin 70
  • Johannes Brahms 75
  • Johannes Brahms 77
  • Anton Bruckner 100
  • John Alden Carpenter 114
  • Claude Achille Debussy 118
  • Anton DvoØÁk 130
  • Edward William Elgar 135
  • Manuel De Falla 140
  • CÉsar Franck 145
  • Georg Frideric Handel 150
  • Franz Josef Haydn 154
  • Paul Hindemith 161
  • Arthur Honegger 164
  • Paul Marie ThÉodore Vincent D'Indy 166
  • Franz Liszt 173
  • Franz Liszt 175
  • Charles Martin Loeffler 184
  • Edward Macdowell 186
  • Gustav Mahler 189
  • Felix Mendelssohn-Bartholdy 195
  • Modeste Petrovitch Moussorgsky 206
  • Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart 209
  • Symphonies in E Flat (koechel No. 543), G Minor (koechel No. 550), C Major ("Jupiter"), (koechel No. 551) 211
  • Serge Sergievich Prokofieff 225
  • Sergei Vassilievich Rachmaninoff 229
  • Joseph Maurice Ravel 234
  • Otterino Respighi 241
  • Nicolas Andrejevitch Rimsky-Korsakov 244
  • Charles Camille Saint-Saens 253
  • Arnold Schoenberg 259
  • Franz Peter Schubert 261
  • Robert Alexander Schumann 270
  • Alexander Nicolaievitch Scriabin 288
  • Jean Julius Christian Sibelius 292
  • Richard Strauss 308
  • Igor Fedorovitch Stravinsky 331
  • Joseph Deems Taylor 339
  • Peter Ilitch Tchaikovsky 343
  • Richard Wagner 363
  • Richard Wagner 365
  • Carl Maria Von Weber 380
  • Ralph Vaughan Williams 389
  • Index 395
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