Title
Preamble for a Solemn Occasion
Subtitle
Hymn for the United Nations
For
orchestra, with optional narrator
Alternate Title
  • Hymn for the United Nations (Alternate/Synonymous)
Year Composed
1949
Scoring
3(II,III=picc).2.corA.2.bcl.2.dbn-4.3.3.1-timp.perc(3):gong/vib/cyms/ tgl/BD/TD-harp-strings
ARCO Number(s)
64
Category
Orchestral
Duration
6'
Text Information
Text from the Preamble to the United Nations Charter (E)
Premiere
  • World: New York, NY, December 10th, 1949 (Laurence Olivier, Boston Symphony Orchestra, cond. Leonard Bernstein)
Commission Info
The National Broadcasting Company for the United Nations
Publisher
Boosey & Hawkes
Publishing Status
Published
Buying Options
Boosey & Hawkes
Jump To

Program Note

Originally conceived as a hymn, this slow and stately piece was written to mark the first anniversary of the "Universal Declaration of Human Rights" by the United Nations. As Copland said, "It was not difficult to compose, for the words, which were drawn directly from the United Nations Charter, were in themselves inspiring." Copland revised the accompaniment so that Preamble can be played by orchestra without narrator as well. It is particularly appropriate for performances at special occasions.

Author
Vivian Perlis
Year
1998