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Cantata BWV 1
Wie schön leuchtet der Morgenstern
English Translation in Interlinear Format
Cantata BWV 1 - How beautifully shines the morning star

Event: Choral Cantata for the Feast of Annunciation of the Blessed Virgin Mary
Readings: Epistle: Isaiah 7: 10-16; Gospel: Luke 1: 26-38
Text: Philipp Nicolai (Mvts. 1, 6); Anon (Mvts. 2-5)
Chorale Text: Wie schön leuchtet der Morgenstern

Biblical quotations in green font, chorales in purple

1

Chorus [S, A, T, B]

Corno I/II, Oboe da caccia I/II, Violino concertante I/II, Violino ripieno I/II, Viola, Continuo

Wie schön leuchtet der Morgenstern
How beautifully shines the morning star
Voll Gnad und Wahrheit von dem Herrn,
full of grace and truth from the Lord,
Die süße Wurzel Jesse!
the sweet root of Jesse!
Du Sohn Davids aus Jakobs Stamm,
You son of David from the line of Jacob,
Mein König und mein Bräutigam,
my king and my bridegroom,
Hast mir mein Herz besessen,
have taken posession of my heart,
Lieblich,
[you who are] lovely,
Freundlich,
friendly,
Schön und herrlich, groß und ehrlich, reich von Gaben,
beautiful and glorious, great and honest, rich in gifts,
hoch und sehr prächtig erhaben.
lofty and exalted in splendour.

2

Recitative [Tenor]

Continuo

Du wahrer Gottes und Marien Sohn,
You true son of God and Mary,
Du König derer Auserwählten,
you king of those you have chosen,
Wie süß ist uns dies Lebenswort,
how delightful is your word of life,
Nach dem die ersten Väter schon
by which our earliest fathers already
So Jahr' als Tage zählten,
counted both years and days,
Das Gabriel mit Freuden dort
[the word] which Gabriel with joy there
In Bethlehem verheißen!
in Bethlehem promised!
O Süßigkeit, o Himmelsbrot,
O sweetness, o bread of heaven,
Das weder Grab, Gefahr, noch Tod
that neither grave nor danger nor death
Aus unsern Herzen reißen.
can tear from our hearts.

3

Aria [Soprano]

Oboe da caccia, Continuo

Erfüllet, ihr himmlischen göttlichen Flammen,
Fill, you divine flames of heaven,
Die nach euch verlangende gläubige Brust!
the faithful hearts that long for you!
Die Seelen empfinden die kräftigsten Triebe
Our souls feel the mightiest impulses
Der brünstigsten Liebe
of the most ardent love
Und schmecken auf Erden die himmlische Lust.
and taste on earth the delight of heaven.

4

Recitative [Bass]

Continuo

Ein irdscher Glanz, ein leiblich Licht
A glitter from the earth, a light from the body
Rührt meine Seele nicht;
does not move my soul;
Ein Freudenschein ist mir von Gott entstanden,
there is a gleam of joy that comes to me from God,
Denn ein vollkommnes Gut,
for a perfect good,
Des Heilands Leib und Blut,
the saviour's body and blood,
Ist zur Erquickung da.
is there to give refreshment/new life.
So muß uns ja
Therefore we must
Der überreiche Segen,
by this abundant blessing,
Der uns von Ewigkeit bestimmt
which was intended for us from eternity
Und unser Glaube zu sich nimmt,
and is acquired by our faith,
Zum Dank und Preis bewegen.
be moved to thanks and praise.

5

Aria [Tenor]

Violino concertante I/II, Violino ripieno I/II, Viola, Continuo

Unser Mund und Ton der Saiten
Our mouths and the sound of strings
Sollen dir
should for you
Für und für
for ever and ever
Dank und Opfer zubereiten.
prepare thanks and sacrifice.
Herz und Sinnen sind erhoben,
Our hearts and minds are lifted up
Lebenslang
throughout our lives
Mit Gesang,
with song,
Großer König, dich zu loben.
great king, to praise you.

6

Chorale [S, A, T, B]

Corno I e Violino I col Soprano, Corno II, Oboe I e Violino II coll'Alto, Oboe II e Viola col Tenore, Continuo

Wie bin ich doch so herzlich froh,
How full I am therefore of heartfelt joy
Daß mein Schatz ist das A und O,
that my treasure is the alpha and the omega,
Der Anfang und das Ende;
the beginning and the end;
Er wird mich doch zu seinem Preis
To his reward he will
Aufnehmen in das Paradeis,
take me up to paradise,
Des klopf ich in die Hände.
and so I clap my hands
Amen!
Amen!
Komm, du schöne Freudenkrone, bleib nicht lange,
Come, you sweet crown of joy, do not long delay,
deiner wart ich mit Verlangen.
I wait for you with longing.

Note on the Text

This cantata is the last chorale cantata of the cycle of 1724 –5. The unidentified librettist has used one of the best-known Lutheran hymns as the basis of the text, Philipp Nicolai’s Wie schön leuchtet der Morgenstern (1599).According to an old tradition this hymn was assigned to the feast of the Epiphany, but it was also sung at the Annunciation. As often the wording of the first and last verses has been preserved, while the remainder has been paraphrased. Dürr comments : “Altogether, the librettist must be credited with the empathy which he shows for that fervour which characterises Nicolai’s poem…. The librettist has, moreover, supplied Bach with verse which, if not inspired, is nonetheless thoughtful and appealing”.

(Information based on Dürr The Cantatas of J. S. Bach )

--

This Translation in Parallel Format

English Translation by Francis Browne (November 2002; revised January 2007)
Contributed by Francis Browne (November 2002, January 2007)

Cantata BWV 1: Details & Complete Recordings | Recordings of Individual Movements | Discussions: Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3
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Chorale Text:
Wie schön leuchtet der Morgenstern

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Last update: ýMarch 22, 2012 ý11:45:19