Saturday, July 3, 2010

The National Anthem of Albania

Back when Albania first gained independence as a monarchy in 1912 from Italy, "Hymni i Flamurit" was adopted, and has been kept as the anthem through it's period as a Communist/Marxist state and now as a democratic nation. The original title of the hymn was "Betimi mi flamur," or "Pledge to the Flag." The hymn was first published as a poem in Liri e Shqipërisë (Freedom of Albania), an Albanian newspaper in Sofia, Bulgaria, in its issue of 21 April 1912. Later that year it appeared in a volume of collected poems by Aleksander Stavre Drenova, under the title ëndra e lot (Dreams and Tears), which was published in Bucharest. The official anthem is two verses shorter than the original poem. The music was composed by the same person (a Romanian) who wrote the Romanian anthem in use from 1977-1990, Ciprian Porumbescu.

Ciprian Porumbescu born Cyprian Gołęmbiowski on October 14, 1853 – June 6, 1883) was a Romanian composer born in Şipotele Sucevei in Bukovina (now Shepit, Putyla Raion, Ukraine). He was among the most celebrated Romanian composers of his time; his popular works include Crai nou, Trei culori, Song for the 1st of May, Ballad for violin and piano, and Serenada. In addition, he composed the music for Pe-al nostru steag e scris Unire, which was used for Albania's national anthem, Hymni i Flamurit. His work spreads over various forms and musical genres, but the majority of his work is choral and operetta.

The stamp above issued in 2008 features Ciprian Porumbescu. It is one in a group of four stamps of famous people issued in Moldova.