This Melody Is No Stranger (In Paradise)

Alexander Borodin.(Photo: unknown)
Alexander Borodin.(Photo: unknown)

Most of us have heard the Polovtsian Dances from Alexander Borodin’s opera Prince Igor, but I daresay, most of us haven’t seen then. One of classical music’s most recognizable melodies is contained in these dances. Probably best remembered is the song Stranger in Paradise, adapted in 1953 by Robert Wright and George Forrest.

However, the popularity of Borodin’s familiar tune did not end there. Tony Bennett, George Shearing, Wes Montgomery, The Supremes, and Sarah Brightman have all recorded versions of this classic. It has also shown up in video game melodies, ringtones, Anime, etc…

Watch Mikhail Fokine’s choreography of Polovtsian Dances performed by the Kirov Ballet conducted by Valery Gergiev.

It just goes to show you…no great melody goes un-borrowed.

  • Jeff Wyckoff

    Hi Boyce, Thanks for sharing this. Can you tell us where this was done and who the principal singers and conductor are?