Alexander Nicholaevich Alabiev

Alexander Nicholaevich Alabiev was a talented amateur of the pseudo national school which preceded Glinka, born at Moscow, August 30, 1802. He entered the army, but being led by his fiery temper into some breach of discipline, was exiled to Tobolsk. On his return, he settled in Moscow, where he died in 1852. In collaboration with Verstovsky and others, he produced several vaudevilles which were popular in their day. Encouraged by the success of Catterino Cavos, he attempted a Russian fairy opera: ‘A Moonlight Night, or the Domovio’ (House Spirit). Probably the task was beyond his amateur resources, for the work proved a failure. Alabiev composed about a hundred songs, pleasing melodies in the popular style, but exceedingly elementary as regards form and accompaniment. One of these ‘The Nightingale’ became widely known form having been introduced into the ‘Singing lesson’ in ‘Il Barbiere’ by Viardot, Patti, and Sembrich.