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Leonard Bernstein, "Profanation," from Symphony No. 1, "Jeremiah"

October 23, 2017

Profanation from Symphony No. 1, Jeremiah

Leonard Bernstein

Born: August 25, 1918, Lawrence, Massachusetts

Died: October 14, 1990, New York, New York

Composed: 1943

Arranged: Frank Bencriscuitto

Duration: 8 minutes


Jeremiah, Bernstein’s first symphony, was premiered in 1944, with the composer conducting the Pittsburgh Symphony, and Jennie Tourel as mezzo-soprano soloist, with the text coming from the Old Testament’s Book of Lamentations. Profanation, a scherzo, was originally sandwiched in between the symphony’s first movement, Prophecy, and the third, Lamentations. The programmatic element of the movement is based on the traditional Hebrew Haftarah, a biblical selection from the Books of the Prophets read after the parashah in the Jewish synagogue service. The music depicts a general sense of destruction and chaos brought on by pagan corruption in ancient Jerusalem.


Profanation is being presented in celebration of Bernstein’s one-hundredth birthday in 2018.


Leonard Bernstein, Profanation, from Symphony No. 1, Jeremiah

"The President's Own" United States Marine Band, Lt. Col. Jason Fettig, conductor


 Leonard Bernstein, Symphony No. 1, Jeremiah

Israel Philharmonic, Ludwig Rosropovich, conductor


Additional Resources:

- Additional UMWO Bernstein Posts


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