Winter 2001 (9.4)
Farid Alakbarov's vision of Uzeyir Hajibeyov is interesting,
but still it does not change my point of view. Yes, Uzeyir was
"a rare bird" and we probably will never know who the
"real" Uzeyir Hajibeyov ever was. Never mind. Who cares
anyway? What we do know and appreciate is the legacy that Uzeyir
left for Azerbaijani music and musicians.
Certainly Uzeyir was utilized by the Soviet system, as were many
other artists, and in this system he had no choice. Lots of other
great artists had no patron or sponsor; some became famous long
after their death, while others disappeared into oblivion along
with their creations.I would never blame Uzeyir Hajibeyov. Nobody
has the right to do that. His legacy must be preserved and spread
throughout the world. But I still want to find out what happened
with those people caught between those systems. What was the
process? What really happened with the Azeri intellectuals after
the first Revolution between 1905 and 1915?How is it that my
family managed to become one of the most respected families in
How is it that Uzeyir and Jeyhun, who came from a small town
in Karabakh with a very simple background, and who started from
nothing, no money and no means, managed to do what they did?
Was it mere circumstance? They could just as simply have become
teachers or lawyers or just countrymen, but "history jumped
on their back" as we say.
What feelings did Hajibeyov have towards Socialism and Leninism?
Was he mesmerized by those ideas about freedom, equality, and
fraternity of the human race? It's a great debate that we must
not avoid. Democracy demands transparency.
Before 1925, Uzeyir Hajibeyov and my grandfather Jeyhun [living
in Paris] were able to communicate one way or another. How is
it that those two brothers who loved each other so profoundly
cut off their communication with each other? There are so many
things to dig and learn. No doubt there is much hidden in archives
all over the world. There's so much that needs to be done to
understand this period. Thanks for making all this kind of discussion
possible via HAJIBEYOV.com.
Editor: Clement Bailly is the
grandson of Jeyhun Hajibeyli (1891-1962), the younger brother
of Uzeyir Hajibeyov (1885-1948). Jeyhun lived out his life in
exile, having been in Paris representing the fledgling government
of the Azerbaijan Democratic Republic (ADR) when the Bolsheviks
took over Baku in 1920. Fearing for his life, Jeyhun never returned
home. Clement, a musician, lives in Paris. For more discussion,
visist HAJIBEYOV.com, click on RESEARCH.
(9.4) Winter 2001.
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