Military Review

A man of two worlds. Alexander Porfirevich Borodin

12 November 1833 in the city of St. Petersburg a boy was born to the daughter of soldier Avdotya Antonova from an extramarital affair with Prince Luca Gedianov. The prince, following the custom, recorded the newborn as the son of his valet Porfiry Borodin, and also insisted that the infant be christened Alexander. For the sixty-year-old Luka Stepanovich, this boy was both a joy and fun, as was the whole affair with the twenty-five-year-old Dunyasha. He met Avdotya Konstantinovna on one of the dance parties and, having fallen in love, took the girl to himself. There was no conversation about marriage - the prince had a legitimate wife in Moscow, and, despite the fact that he had not lived with her for a long time, there was no way to break off relations.

From his father, who belonged to an ancient noble family, going back to the Georgian princes Imeretinsky, Alexander Borodin inherited an expressive look and eastern features of his appearance. The child did not experience any problems from illegitimate birth, only he called his mother his “aunt” - for the guests of the house Sasha was Antonova’s nephew. However, this secret event was more than compensated for by fiery maternal love — Avdotya Konstantinovna was so afraid for her son, that up to fifteen years she would cross the road by the hand, so that “Sasha would not be crushed by a horse.” In 1839, Luka Stepanovich, wanting to give her mistress a position in society, arranged for her a fictitious marriage with Christian Kleineck, who served as a military doctor. Shortly before his death in 1843, the Gedianians "signed" his son freely, and also blessed him by giving him a family relic - an icon of St. Nicholas of Myra.

Alexander Borodin grew up "quiet, calm and somewhat absent-minded" boy. Relatives, by agreement, advised Antonova not to spend money on educating the child - he grows up, they say, weak, sick, and most likely will not last long. However, Avdotya Konstantinovna missed such “advice” past her ears and, knowing herself, hired the boy of various teachers, whom Alexander impressed with phenomenal memory and diligence. Interest in music, by the way, has awakened in him since early childhood. Together with the Bonna, he often visited Semenovsky Square and listened to the orchestra there, and on returning home he sat down at the piano and picked up the marches by ear. When my mother found out about this, she hired a soldier from the Semenovskiy Orchestra who taught Alexander to play the flute. A German teacher gave him piano lessons. From the fascination with the world of sounds, the need for composing music appeared by itself. In 1849, the talent of the young composer was noticed not only by relatives, but also by critics - several plays by Borodin were published by the efforts of “aunt”: fantasy for piano, etude “The Flow” and Pathetic Adagio.

However, there was Sasha and another hobby - chemistry. It all started innocently enough - with the study of textbooks and the creation of fireworks. But after a couple of years of the teenager, chemical experiments were so delayed that, according to eyewitnesses, “not only his own room, but almost the entire apartment was filled with chemical drugs, retorts and banks”. Avdotya Konstantinovna looked at the "tricks" of her son with disapproval: what if, because of them, the whole house would burn down ?! In addition, homemade terribly plagued the smell of chemicals.

At 1850, Alexander is seventeen years old. And no matter how remarkable his home education was, the former “yard man” did not have to count on continuing his studies. However, the energetic and quick-witted Antonova found a way out, writing down her son to the Novotorzhsky merchants of the third guild for a bribe. In the same year, having passed all exams for the certificate of maturity in the gymnasium, Borodin became a volunteer at the medical faculty of the Medical-Surgical Academy. By the middle of the nineteenth century, this institution was one of the centers of Russian natural science thought. Mainly raznochintsy were trained here, and Alexander Porfirievich felt himself to be among the student brethren. With passion, the young man began to study crystallography and zoology, anatomy and botany. Once, because of his training zeal, he almost died. In the second year, Borodin had to dissect the corpse with rotten vertebrae. In order to investigate how deeply the disease ate his spine, he stuck his middle finger into the hole. At the same time one of the thin bones dug under his nail. The young man received a cadaveric infection and was treated for a long time in the hospital.

It should be noted that the outbreak of interest in medicine could not oust Alexander Porfirievich's long-time enthusiasm for chemistry. At the Academy, a young man heard lectures by the eminent Russian chemist Nikolai Zinin, and continued to experiment at home. It was only in the third year of study that Borodin, who was shy and delicate in character, dared to ask Nikolai Nikolayevich for permission to work together with senior students in the chemical laboratory. At first, Zinin treated him with distrust, however, the young man’s zeal, skillful handling of reagents and remarkable knowledge of the subject changed the mentor’s views. A few months later, the “daring” student was invited to the professor’s home laboratory. Alexander Porfirievich recalled: “To come to Nikolai Nikolayevich to do an analysis meant to have lunch with him in a friendly way, to get drunk with tea and, in addition to precious information about the analysis, in passing, to take a bunch of instructions on zoology, physics, chemistry, mathematics and comparative anatomy.”

Over time, the professor began to see his successor in Borodino. It was all the more sad for him to find out that a gifted young man spends his spiritual heat on inventing romances - just at that time, Alexander Porfirievich wrote several pieces of music. Zinin was so upset that he publicly reproached the student for chasing two hares. Nevertheless, Borodin didn’t have enough spirit to quit making music. He attended the music meetings of the chamber music fan, the official Ivan Gavrushkevich, and he enjoyed playing the second cello part in the home ensembles. At the same time, a young man studied the skills of composing art, getting acquainted with sonata forms and writing fugues. Subsequently, Borodin said that "my musical education, apart from some training in playing the cello, flute and piano, I am obliged only to myself ...".

Despite the excellent performance at the time of graduation at the end of 1855, Alexander Porfirievich was given only a commendable list. The reason for this was the decision of the scribe, who believed that the young man was too free to retell passages from the Holy Scriptures. However, in March 1856, among the best students, Borodin was assigned to the Second Military Land Hospital as a resident, and also was appointed Assistant of the Department of General Pathology and General Therapy at the Zdekauer and Besser Clinic. Interestingly, Professor Zdekauer asked him to himself even before the young man graduated from the Academy, saying that the young man "with excellent talents is distinguished by a special love for the sciences." Both he and his colleagues did not doubt that Alexander Porfirievich was waiting for the glory of an outstanding doctor. However, from the very first days the hospital began to bring sadness to the young man. The gloomy impression of the work was intensified when seriously ill patients were brought in - duty was a real challenge for Borodin when he had to rescue the peasants punished with gauntlets. His colleague noted that with formerly cold-blooded Alexander, "at the sight of flaps of skin, dangling shreds, fainting was done three times."

In August, the future composer 1857 first visited abroad. Together with the court oculist Ivan Kabat, he attended the International Congress of Ophthalmologists in Paris. Upon returning home, Borodin moved to the Department of Chemistry, Zinin, and in May 1858 became a doctor of medicine. It is curious that his thesis for the first time in stories The Academy was written and presented in Russian (before that, the defense was held in Latin). And at the end of 1850, Alexander Porfirievich conducted a study of the atomic structure of amarines, which aroused interest from prominent scientists. In the autumn of 1859, a promising chemist was decided to send abroad for further study.

The final destination of Borodin’s multi-day trip was the German city of Heidelberg, famous for its university. That year a large Russian colony gathered there, Borodin wrote home: "I just got to the hotel, where all our dinners were having dinner ... I met Mendeleev, Sechenov and many others at the tabledots ...". Finding an apartment, Borodin plunged into work. Days away he spent on experiments in the laboratory. The object of his research was the zincethyl reagent, from which he soon obtained butane hydrocarbon. In the hours of rest, of which Alexander Porfirievich was not so much, he, who could not bear the prim German society, communicated with compatriots. The closest friends of Borodin were Mendeleev, Sechenov, Savich and Olevinsky, who formed the backbone of the Heidelber brotherhood of chemists. Sometimes Alexander Porfirievich, as if jokingly, “treated” his friends with fashionable Italian arias, while hiding how serious his passion for music was. But in the messages to his mother, he did not lurk and described in detail how quintets, quartets and duets with local musicians make up regularly.

In the autumn of 1860, Mendeleev, Borodin, and Zinin, who had arrived, visited the International Congress of Chemists in Karlsruhe, and for the winter Alexander moved to Paris and worked in the laboratory of the famous chemist Charles Würz. In France, he also took a few lessons from glassblowers in order to make beakers, cylinders and flasks on his own. In the spring of 1861, Borodin visited Italy, examining a boric acid plant and collecting a collection of lavas Vesuvius for the Academy. After that, he returned to Heidelberg, where at the same time pianist Ekaterina Protopopova arrived for treatment. The talents of the girl in music were so outstanding that Chopin's student Shulgof and Liszt's student Shpakovsky agreed to give her free lessons, if only Catherine would not give up the lessons. Alexander Porfirievich, driven by curiosity, went with her friends to meet her. The girl did not refuse the guests pleasure by performing one of Chopin's works. From that evening Katya and Alexander became inseparable. By the way, Borodin was considered an enviable bridegroom - witty, gallant, spectacular, on the rise of a scientific career. But the desperate efforts of the yoke to get his attention broke against the wall of cold courtesy. Ekaterina Protopopova was different - she didn’t want to please, she didn’t touch it. Joint music-making, along with walks in the environs of Heidelberg, did their work, without noticing themselves, Borodin and Protopopova fell in love with each other. At the end of the summer they explained, but their happiness did not last long - the girl suffered from tuberculosis, and in September her health deteriorated sharply. The doctors advised a worried Alexander Porfirievich to immediately take the bride to warm lands.

Throughout the autumn and winter, the young people spent in the city of Pisa, where chemists Tassinari and De Luca kindly offered Borodin to use their laboratory. Abroad, young people stayed until September 1862, after which they returned to Russia. Wedding events had to be postponed until next year - by that time the construction of a new building of the Medical-Surgical Academy, in which Alexander Porfirievich was promised an apartment, was to be completed. Katya went to see her mother in Moscow, and Borodin, who was approved as an adjunct professor, plunged into official business. The salary of an associate professor was seven hundred rubles a year, and Borodin, realizing that it was impossible to support his family with this money, began to look for a part-time job. Those were soon found - the scientist took up the translation of scientific books, and also undertook to read a chemistry course at two academies: the Mikhailovsky Artillery and the Forest.

In the late autumn 1862 at a musical evening hosted by the physician Sergey Botkin (the famous therapist was an amateur musician and played the cello), Alexander Porfirievich had a fateful acquaintance with the composer Mily Balakirev. The latter, by this time, headed a group of young composers, which included Modest Mussorgsky, Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov and Cesar Cui. All of them attributed themselves to the champions of Russian national art, being opponents of the “German Party”. A meeting with Balakirev made a coup in Alexander. Too demanding of himself, he considered his works amateurish, but Miliy Alekseevich made Borodin believe that music was his vocation. The result of the conversations was not long in coming - Alexander Porfirevich conceived a symphony.

In April, 1863 Borodin and Protopopov got married. According to their mutual desire, wedding celebrations were not held, and the event was celebrated in the family circle. By the fall, the couple finally moved to the promised apartment near the Foundry Bridge. It should be noted that the four-room apartments hit stupid layout, subsequently delivering their inhabitants a lot of inconvenience. The rooms were adjacent to classrooms and chemical laboratories, besides going into a common corridor, where at any time of the day it was possible to meet the ministers of the Academy, teachers or students. However, life could not be adjusted and for another reason - the young wife turned out to be a useless mistress.

At 1864, Zinin became the director of chemical work, and Borodin received the title of full professor and took over the lab and department. Despite the huge workload, he did not abandon his own research, taking up the products of aldehyde compaction. He used to work with students in one laboratory (he did not have a scientist in his office), he enjoyed their great love. One of them recalled: “Borodin was always ready to interrupt all his own work without irritation, without impatience, in order to answer the proposed questions ... Everyone could approach him with his own thoughts, problems, ideas, without fear of neglect, arrogant reception, refusal. Rare flashes of irritation caused him only careless attitude to the case ... ".

Being at the mercy of laboratory works, Alexander Porfirievich could not come close to the piano for several weeks, which made him extremely frustrated by the Muzicuses, who asked the "alchemist" (Borodin's nickname) to take up the score. The scientist himself jokingly called himself a “Sunday musician,” since most often he gave writing to the will precisely at the weekend. On weekdays, however, only a disease could make him distract from science. An interesting testimony about how Alexander Porfirievich concentrated at work was left by his wife Ekaterina Sergeyevna: “At such times he flew off the ground. He could sit for ten hours in a row, could not sleep at all, did not eat lunch. And when he came off, he couldn’t come to a normal state for a long time. Then it was impossible to ask him about anything, he would definitely have answered out of place. ” Though slowly, but still moving forward work on the First Symphony. The author showed the finished pieces of the score to his friends, listening to critical remarks with trepidation. However, much more often Borodin was bombarded with enthusiastic compliments. At the end of the 1866 symphony was over. The circle exulted - another outstanding Russian composer was born with the work!

The 1860s were the happiest in the life of Alexander Porfirievich. Successfully developed his scientific career - from isocaprine alcohol, he was able to get isocapric acid. At the same time, Borodin, along with other famous natural scientists, took part in the creation of the Russian Chemical Society, which was opened in 1868. In 1867, Alexander Porfirievich “mixed” the “Warriors” operet, ridiculing the conventions and stamps of operas by Verdi, Rossini, Meyerbeer. The result was a rather witty musical collage, turned against the dominance of “foreigners” in Russian music. The very first major victory of the composer Borodin took place in early January 1869 and was associated with the performance of his symphony in the walls of the Mikhailovsky Palace at a concert of the Russian Musical Society. Balakirev, who stood behind the conductor's stand that evening, recalled: "All the parts provoked warm sympathy from the public, and after the final, the author was summoned several times." Inspired by the success, Borodin immediately decided to write the Second Symphony, but in April he switched to a more ambitious plan - the opera. After a long search for “Russian plots”, critic Vladimir Stasov offered him a script based on the Word about the regiment of Igor. The composer answered: “I like this plot terribly, but will it be possible? I do not know, but fear wolves, do not go to the forest. I'll try".

Founders of the Russian Chemical Society. Xnumx

The natural energy of Alexander Porfirievich, who had enough for the crazy life he came to surprise, is surprising. It was necessary to have truly powerful power in order to do everything - to compose, give lectures, set up experiments, take exams, meet with chemists and musicians, attend academic meetings, order laboratory equipment, make reports and reports for the Academy and carry out a dozen more any sense of the affairs entering into its official duties. Borodin himself wrote: “I just don’t notice how time flies. Saturday will come - I wonder where this week has gone; after all, it seems yesterday was Monday ... ". The family life of a scientist was not as he once dreamed of. Alexander Porfirevich passionately loved Yekaterina Sergeyevna, however they were separated for a long time - his wife could not stand the damp St. Petersburg climate and preferred to stay in Moscow all spring, summer and autumn. In an effort to "speak" longing, the composer wrote to her almost every day. His messages clearly showed disappointment and sadness: “Yes, and what kind of our existence is homeless. Exactly some wives, married bachelors ... ". When the long-awaited winter came, his beloved Katenka moved to St. Petersburg, but with her appearance the mess in the house only increased. She honestly tried to equip the apartment, but she didn’t get any comfort or order from the bustling troubles. Among other things, Ekaterina Sergeevna was nocturnal and went to bed not earlier than four in the morning, making it difficult for her husband to rest. Borodin also had many problems with Katyenka’s state of health. The patient herself did not even think to take care of herself - she smoked a lot and walked barefoot on the cold floor, which led the composer to despair, since it looked like a real suicide with her lungs.

Alexander Porfirievich was never interested in politics, but he closely followed what was happening in the country. At the same time, his sympathies were on the side of the democratic camp. In 1870, Borodin composed the ballad “More” on his own poems, which dealt with a young revolutionary returning from exile home and dying from his native shores during a raging storm. The allusion to reality was so obvious that the censors would definitely have banned it. Borodin, realizing this, moved the time of the action into the past, making the young man swimming with his booty the hero of the “Sea”. However, the rebellious spirit was preserved in the ballad, and it became very popular with young people. At the same time, the Second Symphony, which had long been composed in the head of the composer, became final, and later the Stasov name “Bogatyrskaya” was consolidated. By the spring of 1872, Alexander Porfirevich recorded it in a piano presentation.

In May, at a meeting of the Russian Chemical Society, Borodin told 1872 how he got a new substance in his experiments with acetaldehyde - aldole. This reaction was called aldol condensation, the chemist saw a great future, but refused further research after learning that the Frenchman Charles Würz dealt with a similar topic. To all the questions: “Why?”, Alexander Porfirievich replied bitterly: “My laboratory barely exists, and I have no assistants, and meanwhile Würz works in twenty hands and has huge funds.” By the way, the scientist came across a shortage of staff, reagents, instruments and money regularly. It came to the point that he had to use additional funds to hire additional employees in the laboratory or sell his own silver so that students could conduct chemical research. Thus, reluctantly, Borodin returned to the study of the Amarines, which attracted his attention back in the 1850s. But, despite the difficulties, over time, an entire scientific school was formed around Alexander Porfirievich. In the summer of 1873, he and his students attended the Fourth Congress of Russian Naturalists, held in Kazan. This trip turned out to be a triumph, Borodin wrote home: "There were a lot of interesting messages in the chemical section, and among them mine, I would say without boasting, were among the most prominent ... This greatly advanced our laboratory in the opinion of chemists and non-chemists."

In November, the Women's Obstetric Courses were opened at 1872 in St. Petersburg at the Medical-Surgical Academy. Such prominent scientists as Mendeleev, Beketov, Sechenov, Botkin, and also Borodin took part in their organization. In addition, Alexander Porfirievich was put to teach the students chemistry. However, it wasn’t just a matter of reading lectures - a kind-hearted scientist undertook to patronize female students, protecting them from the attacks of ordinary people and officials, knock out scholarships for them, and help them find work after graduation. As a treasurer of the Society for the benefit of students of pedagogical and medical courses, he organized evening fund-raising concerts. Many years later, former female students, remembering the professors with warmth, noted his amusing habit at lectures to address them not by first name, last name, but “by voice” - contralto, mezzo-soprano, soprano ...

Nikolai Zinin resigned at 1874, and Alexander Porfirievich headed the department of chemistry at the Medical-Surgical Academy. Burdens significantly increased, but Borodin, absorbed in social activities and connected with academic routine, managed to find time for music. In 1874, he returned to work on the opera, while writing the First String Quartet and modifying the Second Symphony. It was best written at a time when the composer was unwell and did not go to the service. Alexander Porfirievich kindly remarked: "On this basis, my musical companions, contrary to custom, wish me constant illness ...".

It is necessary to note the amazing responsiveness of Borodin - despite the constrained financial situation, he and his spouse tried to help everyone who applied for it. Rimsky-Korsakov recalled: “Their apartment often served as a haven for various relatives, visitors or the poor, who were sick or even gone mad. And Borodin was busy with them, healed, drove to hospitals, visited them there. ... Often it was impossible to play the piano, because someone was asleep in the next room ... Alexander Porfirievich himself did not sleep much, but he could sleep anywhere and on anything. I could have lunch twice a day, but I could not have lunch at all. And the one and the other happened to him often. ” Unspent parental feelings (Borodins never brought their own children) poured on course listeners, students and pupils - the couple took four girls for maintenance. In addition, Alexander Dianin, a beloved disciple, the future successor of Alexander Porfirievich in the department’s affairs, lived with them as a spiritual son.

On summer vacations in the 1870s, Borodins tried to leave the city. Especially the spouses liked in the Vladimir province in the village of Davydov, where they lived for three seasons from 1877 to 1879. Intoxicated with freedom, who for once got the opportunity to organize the day as he pleases, Alexander Porfirievich improvised on the piano, wrote for hours at his desk or, dressed in peasant boots and a peasant shirt, helped clean the hay to the peasants.

A man of two worlds. Alexander Porfirevich Borodin
A.P. Borodin. Portrait of Ilya Repin (1888)

In the spring of 1877, Borodin was elected academician, and in the summer he, along with his students Goldstein and Dianin, went to the University of Jena, in which his “chicks” intended to write dissertations. The journey to Germany brought the composer a memorable acquaintance with Franz Liszt. The outstanding virtuoso pianist of the nineteenth century liked the works of Borodino so much that he began to popularize them in Germany. Alexander Porfirievich himself returned to his homeland and in the winter 1879 took up his last scientific work - the development of a method for determining nitrogen in urea.

By the beginning of 1880, Borodin’s talents were revealed in all their glory. He won a name in the scientific circles of Europe and Russia, he was known as the author of beautiful romances and symphonies. In 1880, the composer presented a symphonic poem “In Central Asia”, which amazed the public with its pictorial imagery of music. The second string quartet of Borodin, written in 1881 and dedicated to his wife, turned out to be less successful - he received well-deserved recognition only after his death. In general, his creative activity began to fade - a feeling of fatigue was growing, and besides, Alexander Porfirievich was now distracted from the scores not only by his service, but also by participation in various public organizations. Borodin took over the work with the symphony orchestra and the student choir, which he himself organized at the Academy. Personal losses also affected the state of the composer — Zinin died in 1880, his close friend Mussorgsky died in 1881.

The policy of Alexander III, who ascended the throne of 1881 in the spring, threw the country back. Unprecedented scope reached police repression against students. The authorities focused particularly on natural science institutions that were considered breeding grounds for harmful ideas and free-thinking. Alexander Porfirievich, however, treated the students in distress with paternal care, hurrying to the rescue at any time of the day. The composer Mikhail Ippolitov-Ivanov said: “On February night, at two o'clock in the morning, the Ilyinsky bell rang and Alexander Porfirievich froze to the last opportunity and covered with snow. It turns out that from eight o'clock in the evening he was driving around the institutions in a cab driver, looking for someone from those arrested. ... This was done without any drawing, out of a pure sense of humanity. " And at 1882, Women's Medical Courses were abolished. Until recently, Borodin fought for the “cause of women's education,” but after he had the opportunity to observe the final “devastation” of the chemical laboratory of courses in 1885, he gave up.

In the summer of 1885, the composer, at the invitation of his great admirer Countess Louise de Merci-Argenteau, who organized Russian concerts in Belgium, went abroad. Choosing the moment, Borodin visited Weimar at Liszt, and then lived in the castle of Argento. The warm welcome arranged by the Belgians, pushed the composer to write the song "Wonderful Garden". Happy and rested, he returned to Russia, where everything rushed along the groove. His friends hurried him with the opera, scolding him for sluggishness, and Alexander Porfirievich was irritated in response - the senseless and endless whirl of affairs was starting to get on his nerves. Increasingly, he began to think about retirement, but the scientist was well aware that once he retired, he would immediately have to go to places “where it’s cheaper”, since he couldn’t live for a professor’s pension in St. Petersburg and ".

In winter, 1886 the composer went abroad for the last time, and along with Caesar Cui attended the opening of a new cycle of Russian concerts. And in June of this year, Ekaterina Sergeyevna almost died of dropsy. For four days, Alexander Porfirievich, praying for a miracle, sat beside her. To the amazement of the doctors who found the woman hopeless, the composer’s spouse went on the mend, but for Borodin himself the experiences did not pass without a trace. In the autumn, as if anticipating something, he tried to devote more time to the opera, but soon he got stuck in the bog of the bureaucracy again. Patron Mitrofan Belyaev offered Alexander Porfirievich to buy the right to publish "Prince Igor" for an unprecedented price for those times of three thousand rubles (the usual price was six hundred rubles). Thus, the friends wanted to push the work on the opera, from which they "climbed the walls with delight." Unfortunately, these plans were not destined to be executed - the opera, on which Borodin worked for a total of eighteen years, remained unfinished.

The professors of the Academy had a long tradition of arranging homely costume parties. Alexander Porfirievich, who loved to dance since childhood, gladly took an active part in them. At the 1887 carnival, he decided to please the guests by posing in front of them in blue trousers and woolen red Russian shirt. All evening he danced famously, and closer to midnight, during a humorous conversation with his friends, he suddenly fell silent in mid-sentence and collapsed on the floor. The cause of death was the rupture of the heart. It happened February 27. Two days later, Borodin was buried. The great scientist and composer found last peace in the Alexander Nevsky Monastery near Modest Mussorgsky. Just four months later, Ekaterina Sergeyevna died.

After himself, Borodin left few works, but there are no weak ones among them. His sunny and cheerful music, rooted in folk traditions, imbued with faith in human abilities, is now perceived as a solemn hymn to the greatness of the Russian people. Immediately after the composer's death, Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov, Alexander Glazunov and Vladimir Stasov took the unfinished scores, unfinished pieces and musical drafts of the opera. Trying to treat the material with the utmost care, guided by Borodin’s wishes, keeping the author’s style and design, the friends-musicians finished “Prince Igor” for three years. At the end of October, the 1890 premiered the opera at the Mariinsky Theater. There were no empty seats, and after the final chords the walls shook from deafening applause. In 1898, Prince Igor appeared in the repertoire of the Bolshoi Theater, and at the beginning of the twentieth century, the opera began its triumphal march across the stages of the world.

If Borodin had not written music, he would still remain in the history of Russian science as an outstanding natural scientist. Alexander Porfirevich published over forty scientific papers and was the first in the laboratory to synthesize an organic compound, including fluorine. Today, such compounds are widely used in industry, for example, they produce coating Teflon dishes. His most significant discovery is the reaction of aldehyde condensation. The aldol resins resulting from this condensation are used in the automotive, electrical, furniture, lacquer industries, as well as in the process of manufacturing valuable plastics. Interestingly, Borodin's scores are still in excellent condition due to the unique "coating" based on egg yolk, which the composer invented. A couple of times Alexander Porfirievich acted as a balneologist, as a result of which two medical institutions were founded - a sanatorium and a balneo-mud resort, which still exist today.

According to the materials of the site and the weekly edition “Our history. 100 great names.
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  1. parusnik
    parusnik 18 December 2015 07: 59
    Thus, friends wanted to push work on the opera, from which they "climbed the walls with delight."..And I climb the wall with delight from the opera "Prince Igor" .. Available on vinyl and on CD .. And for the first time I heard in my childhood, on the radio, a live broadcast .. Thank you, great article ..
    1. Alex
      Alex 18 December 2015 17: 04
      Quote: parusnik
      Thus, the friends wanted to push the work on the opera, from which they "climbed the walls with delight" ... And I climb the wall with delight from the opera "Prince Igor".

      I fully join the raptures. Such beautiful and powerful music is not often heard.
  2. Reptiloid
    Reptiloid 18 December 2015 12: 46
    I liked the article very much. This is --- TALE.
    There is such an expression: “A talented person is talented in everything.” This is necessary --- and a chemist, and a doctor, and a composer, and a glassblower, and an organizer, and a “pusher”, and a patriot ... and a lover! ! I am impressed.
    1. cosmos111
      cosmos111 18 December 2015 17: 02
      Quote: Reptiloid
      I really liked to become

      I AGREE !!!! excellent article about the GREAT person of RUSSIA !!!!
  3. Alex
    Alex 18 December 2015 17: 10
    There were even legends about the absent-mindedness of Alexander Porfirievich. How many times was he going to go "home" from his own house. But one case is so unique in general.

    In almost all his overseas trips, he always went with his wife. Once again, at the border, a customs officer asked a standard question when checking passports:
    - Wife's name?
    In response, excruciating silence. The second time - and again without an answer. The customs officer had already decided to call the gendarmes - whether it’s a matter of course, a person cannot name his wife. And then his wife enters the room, accompanied by one of the officers. Borodin rushes to her with a cry:
    - Katya, for God's sake, what's your name?
    The incident was over.
  4. Monastic
    Monastic 18 December 2015 17: 36
    Just join the raptures! What a man !!!
  5. VPavel
    VPavel 18 December 2015 18: 57
    Thank you for the article. Here is the answer to the question about physicists and lyricists: one person can be a “doc” in the exact sciences and in art, only all this needs to be developed in childhood. It is a pity that such people are not often found. In general, chemists consider Borodin more a chemist, and musicians - a musician, each pulling to his side. I enjoyed reading the article.
  6. Cap.Morgan
    Cap.Morgan 18 December 2015 21: 55
    Wow. I did not know that Borodin was the son of a prince. Interesting.
  7. Reptiloid
    Reptiloid 20 December 2015 02: 09
    I found out here - They said that before, when the Lenin stadium (now Petrovsky) was just built, there was a theatrical performance with a large number of artists --- the opera "Prince Igor". At that time, people made a strong impression!
  8. gm9019
    gm9019 12 November 2016 23: 17
    It was A.P. Borodin, the student and closest employee of the outstanding chemist Nikolai Zinin, with whom in 1868 he became a founding member Russian Chemical Society.
    The author of more than 40 works in chemistry. In September 1860, Borodin along with N.N. Zinin and D.I. Mendeleev participated in the famous international congress of chemists in Karlsruhe.

    The most significant work of Borodin is rightfully recognized as the opera Prince Igor, and A. P. Borodin is also considered one of the founders of the classical genres of symphony and quartet in Russia. Borodin's first symphony, written in 1867 and saw the light simultaneously with the first symphonic works of Rimsky-Korsakov and P.I. Tchaikovsky, laid the foundation for the heroic-epic direction of Russian symphony. The peak of Russian and world epic symphonism is the composer's Second ("Hero") symphony written in 1876.