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MILY ALEXEYEVICH BALAKIREV  

(1837 - 1910)

Balakirev was the self-appointed leader of The Five or The Mighty Handful, a group of Russian nationalist composers in the second half of the 19th century that comprised César Cui, Mussorgsky, Borodin, Rimsky-Korsakov and Balakirev himself. His own success as a composer was intermittent, largely owing to eccentricities of character and a tendency to make enemies through his own overwhelming enthusiasm and intolerance of other ideas. He was particularly opposed to the establishment of music conservatories in Russia by the Rubinstein brothers and was accused in his turn of amateurism.

Orchestral Music

Balakirev’s orchestral music includes concert overtures, two of them revised as the symphonic poems Russia and In Bohemia. His symphonic poem Tamara is based on a poem by Lermontov, and he completed two symphonies. His Piano Concerto in E flat major was left incomplete (it was subsequently finished by Lyapunov, who also orchestrated Balakirev’s oriental fantasy Islamey). He wrote two orchestral suites, one based on pieces by Chopin, and provided an overture and incidental music for Shakespeare’s King Lear.

Piano Music

Balakirev’s best-known work today is his oriental fantasy Islamey. As a pianist himself, he wrote a varied quantity of pieces for the instrument, including three scherzos, seven mazurkas, nocturnes and waltzes. His significant Sonata in B flat minor, eventually completed in 1905, after half a century, was dedicated to Lyapunov.

Role: Classical Composer 
Album Title
Catalogue No  Work Category 
BALAKIREV, M.: Piano Concertos Nos. 1 and 2 / Grande Fantaisie on Russian Folksongs (Seifetdinova, Russian Philharmonic, Yablonsky) Naxos
8.570396
Orchestral, Concertos
BALAKIREV, M.A.: Overture on Themes of 3 Russian Songs / Music to King Lear (Anosov, Ginzburg) (1961) Naxos Classical Archives
9.80993
Orchestral
BALAKIREV, M.A.: Piano Works (Complete), Vol. 1 (N. Walker) Grand Piano
GP636
Instrumental
BALAKIREV, M.A.: Piano Works (Complete), Vol. 2 (N. Walker) Grand Piano
GP713
Instrumental, Chamber Music
BALAKIREV, M.A.: Romances (Complete) (Alaverdian, Gergalov, Seleznev, Sokolova) Delos
DE3376
Vocal
BALAKIREV: Chopin Suite / Overtures Marco Polo
8.220324
Orchestral
BALAKIREV: Piano Sonata / LISZT: Apres une lecture du Dante (Kentner) (1938-1951) Naxos Historical
8.111223
Instrumental
BALAKIREV: Scherzi and Mazurkas (Complete) Marco Polo
8.220447
Instrumental
BALAKIREV: Symphony No. 1 / Islamey / Tamara Naxos
8.550792
Orchestral
BALAKIREV: Symphony No. 2 / Russia Naxos
8.550793
Orchestral
CIANI, Dino: Live and Studio Recordings Dynamic
CDS004
Orchestral
DINO CIANI - A Tribute Dynamic
CDS413
Orchestral
DINO CIANI: Live Recordings Dynamic
CDS55
Orchestral
Discover the Classics, Vol. 2 Naxos Educational
8.554246-47
Orchestral
GLINKA: Complete Piano Music, Vol. 3 BIS
BIS-CD-981
Instrumental
Guitar Quartet Recital: Russian Guitar Quartet - CUI, C. / MUSSORGSKY, M. / BALAKIREV, M. / BORODIN, A. (A Tribute to the Mighty Handful) Delos
DE3518
Chamber Music
MUSICAL JOURNEY (A) - MOSCOW AND THE GOLDEN RING (NTSC) Naxos
2.110507
Classical Concert
MUSSORGSKY: Pictures at an Exhibition / BALAKIREV: Islamey Naxos
8.550044
Instrumental
MUSSORGSKY: Pictures at an Exhibition / STRAVINSKY: Petrouchka (Brendel) (1955) Naxos Classical Archives
9.80033
Instrumental
PAPERNO, Dmitry: Uncommon Encores Cedille
CDR90000-007
Instrumental
Piano Duo Recital: Buccheri, Elizabeth / Boldrey, Richard – ONSLOW, G. / REGER, M. / WAGNER, R. / LISZT, F. / GRIEG, E. / BALAKIREV, M.A. Cedille
CDR7002
Instrumental
Piano Recital: Landrum, Michael - FIELD, J. / CHOPIN, F. / RESPIGHI, O. / SCRIABIN, A. / FAURE, G. / FRANCAIX, J. (Nocturnes) Dorian Sono Luminus
DSL-92158
Instrumental
Piano Recital: Lewin, Michael - RAMEAU, J.-P. / HOFMANN, J. / GRIFFES, C. / MACDOWELL, E. / MESSIAEN, O. / GRIEG, E. / GRANADOS, E. (If I Were a Bird) Dorian Sono Luminus
DSL-92103
Instrumental
Piano Recital: Rapetti, Marco - LISZT, F. / DEBUSSY, C. / RAVEL, M. / SATIE, E. / SCRIABIN, A. (La Valse, 1880-1920) Dynamic
CDS102
Chamber Music
RIMSKY-KORSAKOV: Scheherazade / BALAKIREV: Russia Naxos
8.553246
Orchestral
SAYGUN, A.A.: Piano Concerto No. 1 / 12 Preludes / FRANCAIX, J.: Piano Sonata / ALKAN, C.V.: Le chemin de fer (Biret Archive Edition, Vol. 11) Idil Biret Archive
8.571288
Instrumental
TCHAIKOVSKY / BALAKIREV / GLAZUNOV: Arrangements for 2 Pianos 8 Hands Naxos
8.557717
Instrumental
Vocal Recital: Svetlov, Mikhail - MUSSORGSKY, M.P. / CUI, C. / RIMSKY-KORSAKOV, N.A. / BALAKIREV, M.A. / BORODIN, A.P. (Russian Songs) Naxos
8.572218
Vocal




 
 
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