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.
-Vivian Perlis, 1998