Home / Works / Hymn to the United Nations

Delivery in 24h-72h (Peninsula work days)

Hymn to the United Nations


Coro mixto y Orquesta sinfónica


Reg.: BC0018

24,70 €
P.V.P. (VAT included 4%) Add to cart

  • Arrangement: CASALS, Enric
  • Review: CASALS ISTOMIN, Marta
  • Ensemble: Symphonic orchestra: With voice/choir.
    Choir: With accompaniment; Mixt.
  • Genres: Classical / contemporary: Choir; Symphonic.
    Folk music / traditional: Hymns.
  • Lyric author: AUDEN, Wystan Hugh
  • Language: Inglés
  • Product format: Partitura
  • Difficulty level: Advanced-superior
  • Period: 2nd half S. XX - XXI
  • Publishing house: Editorial Boileau
  • Collection: Pau Casals
  • No. of pages: 36
  • Measure: 31,00 x 23,00 cm
  • Lenght: 3'45"
  • ISBN: 978-84-15381-01-3
  • ISMN: 979-0-3503-1005-8
  • Available in digital: No
  • Available for rent: No

Mixed Choir
2 2 2 2 — 2 2 3 1 — tmp+2 — str

perc: cym, sd, sus cym, tri, chimes, glock


Hymn to the United Nations is based on a text by W. H. Auden and is scored for chorus and piano. There are also two other versions of the work: one for chorus and orchestra and another for band, without chorus. Composed in 1971, when Casals was 95 years old, the work was commissioned by the Secretary General of the United Nations, U Thant (1909-1974), the fourth Secretary General of the UN. 

The Secretary General was surprised to discover that at that time no composer had written a Peace Hymn. He proposed the idea to his friend Casals who immediately accepted the commission. The Secretary General stipulated that the work was to be based on the Preamble of the Charter of the United Nations with the hope that it would be performed on appropriate occasions. 

Although the ideals expressed in the Preamble were very much to Casals’ liking he found that it was almost impossible to write music based on a document of this type. The task of writing an appropriate text based the concept of peace and the ideals found in the United Nations Charter, fell to the celebrated poet Wystan Hugh Auden (1907-1973), respected not only for his poetry but also for his essays about contemporary literature. Although Pau Casals and W. H. Auden were two of the most brilliant personalities of their era, they were not acquainted. However, the Secretary General convinced them to collaborate on this project. Only three days after receiving the commission the poet wrote the ideal poem for the Hymn to the United Nations for which Casals composed the music. Coincidentally both Auden and Casals died in 1973.  

The 8 page manuscript of the original version for chorus and piano is written in C Major in 2/4 time. It is signed--«San Juan Puerto Rico Septiembre 27 1971». There is also another version for chorus and orchestra in B Flat Major as well as a version for Band, without chorus,  also in B Flat Major. In this edition for chorus and orchestra the tonality has been transposed to A Major* in order to facilitate its performance for the singers.   The Hymn is a brilliant work with an appropriately grand character both in the music for the chorus and, especially, for the orchestra. The work contains all the characteristics appropriate to a hymn for this emblematic institution.  

The World Premiere took place on United Nations Day, October 24, 1971, at the United Nations. Casals himself conducted the Casals Festival Orchestra. That same day Pau Casals was awarded the Peace Medal by the United Nations.

Pau Casals, apunt biogràfic / Pau Casals, biographical notes /Pau Casals, apunte biográfico

Criteri de l’edició / Criteria for the publication / Criterio de la edición

Criteri de la documentació i catalogació / Documentation and cataloguing criteria / Criterio de la documentación y catalogación

Introducció a l’obra / Introduction to the work / Introducción a la obra

Partitures / Scores / Partituras

Hymn to the United Nations

Catàleg / Catalog / Catálogo

Kit Digital