Kismet : Work information

Alexander Porfir'yevich Borodin ( Music, Images,)
George Forrest ( Music, Images,)
Robert Wright ( Music, Images,)
Performed by
Donald Maxwell (Bass), Richard Van Allan (Bass), Judy Kaye (Voice), Valerie Masterson (Voice), David Rendall (Voice), Philharmonia Orchestra, Ambrosian Opera Chorus, John Owen Edwards (Conductor)

This work

Work name
Work number

This recording

JAY Records
John Yap
Recording date

Track listing

  • Overture 2:49 min
  • Sands of time 4:02 min
  • Rhymes have I 3:44 min
  • Fate 3:08 min
  • Fate (reprise) 2:26 min
  • Bazaar of the caravans 1:43 min
  • Not since nineveh 3:48 min
  • Not since nineveh dance 2:13 min
  • Stolen oranges 0:32 min
  • Baubles, bangles and beads 4:59 min
  • Paradise garden 1:17 min
  • Stranger in paradise 4:58 min
  • He's in love 2:28 min
  • Gesticulate 5:36 min
  • Finale act one 2:00 min
  • Entr'acte 3:02 min
  • Night of my nights 3:25 min
  • Stranger in paradise (reprise) 1:49 min
  • Was I Wazir? 2:43 min
  • Rahadlakum 4:12 min
  • Rahadlakum dance 1:51 min
  • And this is my beloved 5:41 min
  • The olive tree 3:31 min
  • Zubbediya 2:01 min
  • Smaris' dance 1:44 min
  • Finale act two 3:23 min
  • Bonus track: Bored (from 1956 MGM movie) 3:42 min
  • Bonus track: In the beggining woman (from Timbuktu) 3:13 min
  • Bonus track: Golden land, golden life (from Timbuktu) 2:19 min
  • Bonus track: My magic lamp (from Timbuktu) 2:50 min
  • Bonus track: Power (from Timbuktu) 3:26 min
  • Bonus track: Golden land, golden life (from Timbuktu) 2:25 min


Kismet is based on a play by Edward Koblock, first performed in 1911 and made into a film with Marlene Dietrich in the 1940’s. Wright and Forrest have created a modern operetta classic in adapting virtually every usable piece of music written by the composer Alexander Borodin, most notably from the opera PRINCE IGOR. Tempos have been changed, lyrics have been incorporated, and a wealth of new music has been composed to fashion such lovely standards as STRANGER IN PARADISE and BAUBLES, BANGLES AND BEADS.

The first Broadway production opened at the Ziegfield Theater in December 1953 having originated on the West Coast with Edwin Lester’s famous company. Alfred Drake played the role of Hajj, and Doretta Morrow his daughter Marsinah. It ran for 583 performances. It was made into a film by MGM in 1956, directed by Vincente Minnelli and starring Ann Blyth and Howard.

Through hundreds of revivals, touring and amateur productions, and literally hundreds of recordings by artists as diverse as Frank Sinatra and, most recently, Valerie Masterson, et al, KISMET has earned a permanent place in the publics heart.

The Composers

Alexander Porfir'yevich Borodin

Alexander Borodin would not have been so named today.  An illegitimate child of a Georgian prince, when his mother married a doctor common practice dictated that her son should be legally registered as the son of one of her new husband's serfs.  Nonetheless he was still raised and educated by his mother, who arranged him to have lessons with a local piano teacher.  This fostered an already innate love of music, an interest so consuming that Borodin taught himself to play the cello and composed many minor works.  He also began his first steps in chemistry, intrigued at first by the possiblity of making things explode.

1850 saw Borodin enter the Medico-Surgical Academy where he studied numerous disciplines.  Although music frequently distracted him from his studies, he graduated cum laude and was posted to a military hospital to gain experience.  Going on to distinguish himself in the fields of medicine and chemistry, it was not until 1862 that he returned seriously to composition.  This was partly due to a romance with a brilliant pianist whom he later married, and partly due to a new friendship with Mily Balakirev , with whose help he began his first symphony.  Due to his responsibilities as reader in chemistry at the academy, the symphony took until 1867 to complete and was premiered in 1869.  By this time Borodin had also had an opera, The Bogatirs, performed at the Bolshoi, although it was not well received.

After beginning a second symphony, Borodin began his greatest work, the opera Prince Igor.  Again, work had to take precedence and although he returned to it throughout the rest of his life it was not until after his death that it was completed by his compatriots Nikolay Rimsky-Korsakov and Alexander Glazunov.  The ongoing interest in one work led to a consistent mode of approach to other pieces Borodin wrote at the time, such as the second string quartet and In the Steppes of Central Asia .  He died in 1887, suffering a stroke at a party.

Related composers: Mikhail Glinka, Modest Mussorgsky

George Forrest

Robert Wright