Aliabiev, Alexander (Nikolaievich)

views updated

Aliabiev, Alexander (Nikolaievich)

Aliabiev, Alexander (Nikolaievich), ! Russian composer; b. Tobolsk, Siberia, Aug. 15, 1787; d. Moscow, March 6, 1851. His father was the governor of Tobolsk, and Aliabiev spent his childhood there. The family went to St. Petersburg in 1796, and in 1804 settled in Moscow. He studied music in Moscow and had his first songs publ. in 1810. During the War of 1812, he served in the Russian army, and participated in the entry of the Russian army into Dresden and Paris. Returning to Russia, he lived in St. Petersburg, in Voronezh, and in Moscow. In 1825 he was arrested on suspicion of murder after a card game, was sentenced to prison, and in 1828 was deported to his birthplace in Siberia. There he organized concerts of popular music and also composed. In 1831 he was allowed to return to European Russia and lived in the Caucasus and in Orenburg. In 1843 he returned to Moscow, but was still under police surveillance. He wrote more than 100 songs, of which The Nightingale became extremely popular; it is often used in the music-lesson scene in Russian productions of Rossini’s opera Il Barbiere di Siviglia. Among his works for the theater are scores of incidental music to The Prisoner of the Caucasus and to Shakespeare’s plays, as well as the stage ballads The Village Philosopher, The Moon Night, and Theatrical Combat (with Verstovsky and Mauer). Other works include a Sym., 3 string quartets, 2 piano trios, a Piano Quintet, a Violin Sonata, a Quartet for 4 Flutes, a Quintet for Wind Instruments, a Piano Sonata, and choruses.


B. Dobrohotov, A. A. (Moscow, 1966).

—Nicolas Slonimsky/Laura Kuhn/Dennis McIntire