Saturday, October 30, 2004

I've been listening to the radio broadcast of Borodin's Prince Igor. Outside, the sun is shining. I can see two neighborhood boys ride by slowly on their bicycles.

Alexander Borodin, according to the West Cambridge Symphony Orchestra's web site, is an interesting figure, not just for his musical accomplishments but also as a respected scientist in his day. He was renowned chemist and a full professor at St Petersburg's Medical-Surgical Institute, we learn by reading NPR's World of Opera. He began work on the opera in 1869, soon after the premiere performance of Mussorgsky's Boris Godunov. He had a rather difficult time creating it, as he was writing both the libretto and composing the music at the same time. At his death the opera was still incomplete, but Rimsky -Korsakov and Glazunov took on the oeuvre, presenting their version of it on 26th May 1890 in St. Petersburg. Igor Stravinsky's father acted in one of the main roles.

As I listen, my daughter comes in the room, asking me to help her colour a page of a book. I agree to help her, and as I do I try to explain some of the opera in a way she can understand.

The conductor is Aleksander Anisimov, with the Houston Grand Opera.


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