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Alexander Alexandrovich

Pronunciation, mp3 file
1787, September 4

1851, March 6

Alexander Alyabiev was born in the noble family of the governor of Tobolsk. In 1796 the Alyabiev family moved to St. Petersburg, and from 1804 they lived in Moscow, where Alexander began serious musical studies. While still young, he became an officer, taking part in the war against Napoleon in 1812 and reaching Paris with the Russian army . For courage in war Alyabiev received two awards.

In the first half of the 1820's, Alyabiev wrote many romances, among which the settings of verses by the great Russian poet Alexander Pushkin were especially noteworthy.

In 1824 Alyabiev left the army and settled in Moscow, where he performed as pianist and singer, and also composed for the musical theatre.

In 1825 following a false accusation of murder, Alyabiev was imprisoned. While in prison he composed his most well-known vocal work - the song "Solovey" ("Nightingale") to a poem by Delvig (Pushkin's friend). The popularity of this song increased further thanks to the sets of piano variations on the "Nightingale" melody by Glinka (1831) and Liszt (1834).

In 1828, after long judicial process, Alyabiev was deprived of all rights and noble rank and banished to Siberia. During this period he wrote many remarkable romances.

Only in 1843 after long wanderings in Russia did Alyabiev receive permission to live in Moscow. Despite bad health, his creativity was sustained, composing music for dramatic performances, operas and romances.

Alexander Alyabiev died in 1851 in Moscow.

Alyabiev having composed more than 200 romances, 7 operas, 20 musical comedies, and many choral, symphonic, chamber and piano works.


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