Classical cover: Borodin’s ‘Polovtsian Dances’

The 1953 musical “Kismet” used the melodies of Russian composer Alexander Borodin (1833-1887), adapted and given different words by Robert Wright and George Forrest. One of the tunes, from the “Polovtsian Dances,” became a popular song called “Stranger in Paradise.” First, listen to it in its original form, as “The Gliding Dance of the Maidens” section of the “Polovtsian Dances” from the opera “Prince Igor.” (I have it cued up to the proper spot; there’s an intro, then the famous melody.)

Here now is Tony Bennett singing the popular song in 1954.

Classical cover: Schubert’s ‘Erlkonig’

I love a good cover song. The term usually applies to a pop or rock song — some of my favorites in that category include DEVO’s “Satisfaction,” Cake’s “I Will Survive” and The Clash’s “Brand New Cadillac.”

But broadly speaking, classical music is filled with cover songs, if we think of transcriptions, arrangements and paraphrases as such. At any rate, here’s one of my favorite classical covers: First, the original Schubert song, “Erlk├Ânig,” sung by Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau (English subtitles included); and then Heinrich Ernst’s violin transcription of same, played by Hilary Hahn.