New York: Erewan Tparan, 1934. Octavo (22 × 14.8 cm). Original pictorial wrappers; 59 pp. A few small nicks to wrappers; else very good.
Rare book of socialist and worker-themed songs in Armenian, with musical scores, published by this progressive Armenian publisher in New York. At head of title: Proletarner bolor erkirneri, miats k ("Proletarians of the world, unite!"). With a striking, unattributed cover, printed in orange, silver, and green on black stock, reminiscent of Soviet constructivism. Grigor Suni (1876-1939) was an Armenian composer born in today's Azerbaijan, with a complicated fate. As a young child, he lived in Nagorno-Karabakh, where he learned the Armenian system of musical notation. He studied in Tbilisi and St. Petersburg, garnering his first successes. After returning to Tbilisi, he joined the Armenian Revolutionary Federation (Dashnak), which eventually led him to flee to Turkey, before returning to Russia during World War I. At this time, he led the symphonic orchestra in Tbilisi and was invited to head the conservatory in Erevan, but was unable to travel to Armenia. After the Bolshevik takeover in Georgia, Suni fled to Constantinople, eventually fleeing to the United States in 1922, where he lived in Boston and Philadelphia. In order to return to Armenia, he joined the communist party, which explains the present publication, and which led him to fall from grace with the large majority of the Armenian diaspora. KVK, OCLC show copies at Michigan, UCLA, and USC. Book ID: 50104