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Alexander Alexandrovich Alyabiev

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Biography

Alexander Aleksandrovich Alyabyev, (15 August 1787, Tobolsk – 6 March 1851, Moscow) was a Russian composer.

He wrote seven operas, twenty musical comedies, more than 200 songs, and many other pieces. His most famous work is The Nightingale, a song based on a poem by Anton Delvig. It was composed while Alyabyev was in prison, in 1825. Both Franz Liszt and Mikhail Glinka later wrote piano variations based on the song.

Born to a wealthy family, he learnt music in his early years. He joined the Russian Army in 1812, during the Napoleonic war, and fought as an officer until 1823. He won two awards.

Arrested in 1825, after the mysterious death of a man he spent all night gambling with, he was banished to Siberia in 1828. Freed in 1843, he lived mostly in Moscow until his death in 1851.

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