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BORODIN (1834.-1887), Doctor of Medicine and Professor of ( hemistry, became one of the leading' Nationalist ' Composers in nineteenth century Russia. Ho wrote this ' Sketch ' in 1880. A ' programme ' is printed on the title-page of the score. It may be freely translated as follows: ' In the silence of the sandy steppes of Central Asia ring the first notes of a peaceful Russian song. One hears, too, the melancholy strains of songs of the Orient; one hears the tramp of horses and camels as they come. A caravan, escorted by Russian soldiers, crosses the vast desert, fearlessly pursuing its long journey, trusting wholly in its Russian warrior-guard.
' Ceaselessly t ho caravan advances. The Russian songs and the native songs mingle in one harmony ; their strains arc long heard over the desert, and at last are lost in the distance.'
Borodin aims at suggesting the great spaces of the plains by high, held notes which continue almost unbroken throughout.
The Russian song is heard at the opening on a Clarinet, answered by a Horn. A few moments later the Cor Anglais (Contralto Oboe) plays the Oriental song.

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This data is drawn from the Radio Times magazine between 1923 and 2009. It shows what was scheduled to be broadcast, meaning it was subject to change and may not be accurate. More