UZEYIR ABDUL HUSSEIN-OGLA HAJIBEKOV
Gadzhibekov is an outstanding Azerbaijani composer, the founder of the national music school, a major music scholar and public figure. Showing a special interest in the theater, he laid the foundations of the Azerbaijani opera.
Uzeir Abdul Huseyn-oglu Hajibeyov was born on September 17 (new) in 1885 in the village of Agjabedy near the town of Shushi in the family of a rural clerk. As a child, he talked with folk singers, from whom he learned the art of mugham (vocal improvisation recitative warehouse). Since 1899 for five years Hajibeyov was engaged in the Gori teacher’s seminary, where he studied violin and other instruments, got acquainted with the theory of music. Already in those years he began to record folk tunes; fascination with folklore, he preserved for life. At the end of the seminary, Gadzhibekov worked as a school teacher first in a rural area, and from 1905 in Baku. Here he collaborated in the newspaper, wrote articles about the journalism, translated works of Russian writers into Azerbaijani, in particular Gogol, while at the same time intensively engaged in self-education.
In 1907 he composed the opera “Leyli and Majnun” (according to the poem of the classic of Azerbaijani literature of the 16th century Fizuli); its production in January of the next year marked the birth of the national Azerbaijani opera. In the musical notation, only choruses and orchestral numbers were recorded; The arias were improvised by singers according to the rules of mugham art. Then Hajibeyov created operas (for his own libretto): Sheikh Sanan (1909), Rustam and Zohrab (1910), Shah Abbas and Khurshid Banu (1911), Asli and Kerem (1912), Harun and Leila (1915) and musical comedies: “Husband and Wife” (1909), “Not That, This One” (1910), “Arshin Mal Alan” (1913). The latter was translated into more than thirty languages and gained worldwide fame. If operas are devoted mainly to the historical theme, then the musical comedies are based on modern composer stories; they derided the vestiges of the old way of life.
In 1911-1912, Hajibeyov perfected his musical and theoretical knowledge in Moscow on private music courses, and then for some time at the St. Petersburg Conservatory (in the class of theory and composition of V. P. Kalafati). However, the material difficulties forced him to return to Baku.
During the years of Soviet
power, Hadzhibekov’s musical and social activities were widely developed. He was one of the creators of the first musical school in the republic (later converted into a school) and a conservatory, whose professor and rector he was until the last days of his life. At the initiative of Hajibeyov, the first multi-voice mixed choir was organized and the first instrumental folk orchestra playing on notes.
After the October Revolution, Gadzhibekov’s compositional talent flourished. In 1936 he completed his best work – the opera “Ker-ogly”, dedicated to the struggle of the Azerbaijani people for liberation from feudal oppression. In addition to operas and musical comedies, Gadzhibekov left 7 cantata-oratorio compositions, compositions for symphonic orchestra and orchestra of folk instruments, choirs, songs, romances, piano pieces. The composer also owns the National Anthem of the Azerbaijan SSR (1945).
In 1945, Hajibeyov was elected a full member of the Academy of Sciences of the Azerbaijan SSR and director of the Institute of the History of Azerbaijani Art. He died on November 23, 1948 in Baku.