Alexander Alyabyev

Biography

 

Alyabiev Alexander Alexandrovich (August 15, 1787 - March 6, 1851) was a Russian composer. He was one of the first to introduce civic motifs, themes of patriotism and sympathy for the disadvantaged into the Russian romance. Alyabiev composed 6 operas (including Moonlight Night, or The Householders, Ammalatbek), the ballet The Magic Drum, orchestral works (including a symphony), piano pieces, choruses, and romances. Among them are the popular "Irtysh," "Evening Bell," "Nightingale," and others. Alyabiev showed great interest in folk songs (Russian, Ukrainian, Caucasian). He is the author of the collection of harmonizations of Ukrainian folk songs "Voices of Ukrainian Songs" published by M. Maksymovych in Moscow in 1834.
Oleksandr Alyabiev was born in 1787 in Tobolsk. Like many other noblemen's children, he was educated at home. Then he studied at Moscow University. He served in the mining department. During the Patriotic War of 1812, he voluntarily joined the Russian army and fought his way to Paris. He took part in battles, was wounded, and was awarded an order for his military services. Returning to St. Petersburg after the war, he found a common language with representatives of the Russian intelligentsia. Among his friends were Griboyedov, Odoyevsky, and the future Decembrists Mukhanov and Bestuzhev-Marlinsky. The ideas of the Decembrists influenced the composer's views. In Pererburg, Alyabiev began to write music in earnest. Soon he became a composer of music for theater, operas, romances, and gained fame. He composed quartets and trios. In the mid-20s, the song "Nightingale" with lyrics by A. Delvig became popular. In 1825, he was unjustly accused of murder during a card game and arrested. He was kept in prison for three years. After that, he was exiled to Siberia and deprived of all his noble rights. The authorities were probably trying to get rid of a man who was friends with the Decembrists. However, the ordeal did not break Alyabiev. In Siberia, he worked hard, organized a military brass band, took part in concerts, wrote romances and songs (including the autobiographical romance Irtysh), as well as symphonic and chamber works.
A few years later, Alyabiev received permission to travel to the Caucasus for treatment. The nature of the Caucasus made a great impression on the composer. Alyabiev listened to and recorded songs of the Caucasian peoples, and composed a number of works on Caucasian themes (Georgian Song, Kabardian Song, the opera Ammalat-Bek, and the melodrama The Caucasian Prisoner, based on the plot of Pushkin's poem of the same name). At the same time, Alyabiev was working on a collection of Ukrainian folk songs. And later, in Orenburg, where he had to settle, Alyabiev continued to work on studying and collecting folk songs-this time Bashkir. In recent years, Alyabiev lived illegally in Moscow. After getting acquainted with the works of the revolutionary poet Ogarev, he wrote several wonderful songs based on his poems: "Kabak," "Khata" (Russian for "hut"), and "Village Watchman." They reflect the plight of the Russian people. Alyabiev died in 1851 in Moscow.

 

Alyabiev Alexander Alexandrovich (August 15, 1787 - March 6, 1851) was a  composer. He was one of the first to introduce civic motifs, themes of patriotism and sympathy for the disadvantaged into the Russian romance. Alyabiev composed 6 operas (including Moonlight Night, or The Householders, Ammalatbek), the ballet The Magic Drum, orchestral works (including a symphony), piano pieces, choruses, and romances. Among them are the popular "Irtysh," "Evening Bell," "Nightingale," and others. Alyabiev showed great interest in folk songs (Russian, Ukrainian, Caucasian). He is the author of the collection of harmonizations of Ukrainian folk songs "Voices of Ukrainian Songs" published by M. Maksymovych in Moscow in 1834.

 

Oleksandr Alyabiev was born in 1787 in Tobolsk. Like many other noblemen's children, he was educated at home. Then he studied at Moscow University. He served in the mining department. During the Patriotic War of 1812, he voluntarily joined the Russian army and fought his way to Paris. He took part in battles, was wounded, and was awarded an order for his military services. Returning to St. Petersburg after the war, he found a common language with representatives of the Russian intelligentsia. Among his friends were Griboyedov, Odoyevsky, and the future Decembrists Mukhanov and Bestuzhev-Marlinsky. The ideas of the Decembrists influenced the composer's views. In Pererburg, Alyabiev began to write music in earnest. Soon he became a composer of music for theater, operas, romances, and gained fame. He composed quartets and trios. In the mid-20s, the song "Nightingale" with lyrics by A. Delvig became popular. In 1825, he was unjustly accused of murder during a card game and arrested. He was kept in prison for three years. After that, he was exiled to Siberia and deprived of all his noble rights. The authorities were probably trying to get rid of a man who was friends with the Decembrists. However, the ordeal did not break Alyabiev. In Siberia, he worked hard, organized a military brass band, took part in concerts, wrote romances and songs (including the autobiographical romance Irtysh), as well as symphonic and chamber works.

 

A few years later, Alyabiev received permission to travel to the Caucasus for treatment. The nature of the Caucasus made a great impression on the composer. Alyabiev listened to and recorded songs of the Caucasian peoples, and composed a number of works on Caucasian themes (Georgian Song, Kabardian Song, the opera Ammalat-Bek, and the melodrama The Caucasian Prisoner, based on the plot of Pushkin's poem of the same name). At the same time, Alyabiev was working on a collection of Ukrainian folk songs. And later, in Orenburg, where he had to settle, Alyabiev continued to work on studying and collecting folk songs-this time Bashkir. In recent years, Alyabiev lived illegally in Moscow. After getting acquainted with the works of the revolutionary poet Ogarev, he wrote several wonderful songs based on his poems: "Kabak," "Khata" (Russian for "hut"), and "Village Watchman." They reflect the plight of the Russian people. Alyabiev died in 1851 in Moscow.

 

 "Nightingale" is one of Alyabiev's favorite and most widely performed songs. Everything in it is modest and simple. The song is preceded by a lively piano introduction in the spirit of a guitar motif. From the first intonations of the vocal part, a soft, pensive melody unfolds. Usually in Russian folk songs, the deviation from the minor to the parallel major (D minor - F major) gives the sound a lighter tone. The chorus sounds somewhat contrasting. It is based on the music of the intro. This song was performed by Nezhdanova, Barsova, and others.

Compositions

Composition TitleJenre
Vsya pryroda mitsno spytA capella

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