The Suni Project: Music Preservation

Grikor Mirzaian Suni (1876-1939)

1723 Wells | Ann Arbor, MI 48104-3601 USA | (734) 996-1949 | info@suniproject.org

1962 Armen Guirag sings, with the Orchestra of Sao-Paulo City conducted by Edoardo De Guarnieri, two Armenian Patriotic Songs: “Mer Hayrenik (Our Fatherland)”, and Grikor Suni’s “Mshag Panvor/Mshak Banvor” (Cultivator Worker)” Kaylerk (March). This 1962 GuiraK Recordings record “Armenian Patriotic Songs” is a 2011 gift to us from Aspet Victor Papakhian.

 

“Mshag Panvor/Mshak Banvor” patriotic march was composed by Grikor Mirzaian Suni while he was a member of the Մեր Հայրենիք (Armenian Revolutionary Federation ARF)

Eastern Armenian Հայ Յեղափոխական Դաշնակցություն ՀՅԴ
Western Armenian (արևմտահայերեն՝ Հայ Յեղափոխական Դաշնակցութիւն – ՀՅԴ)

 

Hai Heghapokhakan Dashnaktsutiun=Hai Heghapokhagan Tashnagtsutiun=H.H.D.=H.H.T. (also called the Tashnagtsootyun= Dashnaktsootyun). In 1910 Suni broke with this party and left it saying “and you can’t use my songs!” To their reply “But we need your songs”, Suni relied “Then remove my name”. This was told to us by Suni’s son Gourgen (George) Suny and by Suni’s student Ferdinand Kaimakamian.

Suni wrote many marches. Musicologist composer Robert Atayan said that any Armenian marches from his period were composed by Grikor Suni. Some songbooks exist with other’s names given as composer for marches actually composed by Suni. This was told to us by Grikor Suni’s musicology student Ferdinand Kaimakamian. See the 1943 biography “Grikor M. Suni: Yerazhshtagetu yev Mardu (Musician and Man)” by Hagop Kouyoumjian (Philadelphia). Eastern Armenian transliteration into English is “Mshak Banvor”. Western Armenian transliteration into English is “Mshag Panvor”.


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  1. Mer Hayrenik Մեր Հայրենիք – 2:37Listen Now
  2. Mshak Panvor/Mshak Banvor Մշակ բանուր – 1:47Listen Now

Translation of Record Jacket (Eastern Armenian)
(not including the song words) Translation by Dzovinar Derderian, University of Michigan, March 2011, Ann Arbor, Michigan. GuiraK Records 1962 Brazil recording “Armenian Patriotic Songs” of Grikor Suni’s march “Mshag Panvor/Mshak Banvor” sung by Armen Guirag, with the orchestra of Sao-Paulo City, conducted by Edoardo De Guarnieri, along with the patriotic song “Mer Hayrenik” (not by Suni).

Nver H.H.T. = Nver Hai Heghapokhagan Dashnaktsutiun = Gift of the ARF Armenian Revolutionary Federation
Armen Guirak sings on behalf of Tiar Ghazar Eminian. Symphony Orchestra of San Paulo City, Conductor Edoardo De Guarnieri. Tiar Ghazar Eminian is an Armenian from Nor Jougha, Iran. He, for many years has lived in San Paolo, Brazil, with his family. He has 3 children. Mr. Gh. Eminian long ago founded an electronics shop, and reached to an honorable position. He is not only respected among foreigners, but he is also liked by the Armenian community, and is known as a person who helps his nation and loves his nation. Below we provide a picture of his handwriting:

San Paulo, 8 January 1962
Dear Mr. A. Guirag,

According to our last conversation and agreement I send you here the sum that I had promised to you, which you are going to spend on the songs that I have given to the ARF on my behalf (the songs are Mshag Panvor/Mshak Banvor [Cultivator Laborer] and Mer Hayrenik [Our Fatherland]). The money is for the salary of the artists and other related expenses. I am sure that you are going to start working soon, in order to quietly produce that small but important record-plate.

Let this modest present of mine be considered as an expression of my sympathetic feelings towards the ARF.

With many thanks, let me be with a friendly love and good luck with warm wishes,
Yours,
Ghazar Eminian.

 

Translation and Transliteration for Grikor Suni’s composition “Mshag Panvor/Mshak Banvor” (Cultivator Worker) patriotic march for the ARF Armenian Revolutionary Federation, Tashnagtsootyun. Dashnaktsutiun. Translation. Sung by Armen Guirag on the 1962 Brazilian record “Armenian Patriotic Songs” with the Orchestra of Sao Paulo City conducted by Edoardo De Guarnieri

Below from an ARF website are a translation and a transliteration for Grikor Suni’s patriotic march “Mshag Panvor” from the 1983 book by the Հ Յ Դաշնակցութեան (Armenian Revolutionary Federation ARF) called “Armenian National and Revolutionary Songs”. Dashnaktsutiun = Tashnaktsootyun =Federation.

Farmer, labourer, working brother
Come, let us unite and march forward
Let us give our arms and backs
To the protector of toil and work, the Tashnagtzootun.

It is enough that we suffer, shed sweat,
blood earnings work to accumulate.
Exploiter parasites then come to waste
And leave dry bread for our share.

Then, black days, turn into protest
Blood, sweat, enter into pains of labor
Torment, deprivation, sprout tongues,
and open the way for the Tashnagtzootun.

 

KAYLERK HAY HEGHAPOKHAGAN TASHNAGTSOOTIAN

Mshag Panvor/Mshak Banvor, composed by Grikor Mirzaian Suni (1876-1939)

Mshag, panvor, renchber aghper,
Arik, miyanank, harach knank,
Ashkhadanki, tadi bashdban
Tashnagtsoutian tev tigounk dank.

Pav eh danchvenk, krdink tapenk,
Aryun vasdag tadenk, tizenk,
Shahakordzogh tsetser vadnen,
Isg mez chor hats pajin hanen.

Teh, sev orer, poghok tartsek,
Aryun krdink yergounk mdek,
Danchank, zrgank, lezou arek,
Tashnagtsoutian djampa patsek.

Մշակ բանուորՙ րէնջպէր աղբէրՙ
Արի՛ք միանանքՙ յարաջ գնանքՙ
Աշխատանքի դատին պաչպան
Դաշնակցութեան թև թիկունք տանքԱ՛խՙ մենք տանջուենքՙ քրտինք թափենքՙ
Արիւն վաստակ դատենք դիզենքՙ
Շահագործող ցեցեր վատնենՙ
Իսկ մեզ չոր հաց բաժին հանենԴէ՛հՙ սև օրերՙ բողոք դարձէքՙ
Արիւնՙ քրտինք երկունք մտէքՙ
Տանջանքՙ զրկանքՙ լեզու առէքՙ
Դաշնակցութեան ճամբա՛յ բացէք֊֊֊

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

About “Mer Hayrenik”

(This not a composition of Grikor Suni), the other song on our 1962 record “Armenian Patriotic Songs” sung in Brazil
by Armen Guirag with the Orchestra of Sao-Paulo City conducted by Edoardo De Guarnieri

“Mer Hayrenik” (“Our Fatherland”) not composed by Grikor Suni, the composer of the melody is unknown. Below writes conductor Vatsche Barsoumian (2011):

“Mer Hayreniq” is an adaptation from an Italian poem by Michael Nalbantian (1829-1866) -late 1850s or early 1860s. Usually Nalbantian’s poems were immediately set to music by known and unknown hands. Therefore, I believe the music (which, to my view, is also inspired by Verdi’s “Va Pensiero” from his opera Nabucco), comes from around the same period. It resonated with the sentiments of the Italian patriotic movement of the 1850′s and was
influenced in many ways by the melos and ethos of the hymns they sang. These hymns were widespread and encouraged nationalistic sentiments, and Armenians freely adopted them for their use. Parsegh Ganatchian (1885-1967), published a songbook towards the end of the second decade of the 20th century, where he included this hymn with his modest harmonization, hence the mistaken reference to his authorship. [We don't have] a copy of the original Italian poem.

“Mer Hayrenik” (Armenian script: Մեր Հայրենիք ; English translation: Our Fatherland) is the national anthem of Armenia. Adopted on July 1, 1991, it is based on the anthem of the Democratic Republic of Armenia (1918-1922), but with different lyrics. The lyrics of the anthem are adapted from a version of “The Song of the Italian girl” (Armenian: Իտալացի աղջկա երգը, written in 1859) by Mikael Nalbandian (1829-1866).