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Cantata BWV 140
Wachet auf, ruft uns die Stimme
English Translation - Chorale Mvts. only
Cantata BWV 140 - "Wake, arise,” loud call the voices

Event: 27th Sunday after Trinity

 

Original German Text

 

English Translation

1

Coro

1

Chorale [S, A, T, B]

 

Corno col Soprano, Oboe I/II, Taille, Violino I/II, Violino piccolo, Viola, Continuo

 

Wachet auf, ruft uns die Stimme
Der Wächter sehr hoch auf der Zinne,
Wach auf, du Stadt Jerusalem!

 

“Wake, arise,” loud call the voices
of Watchmen so high in the tower,
“Wake up, you town Jerusalem!”

 

Mitternacht heißt diese Stunde;
Sie rufen uns mit hellem Munde:
Wo seid ihr klugen Jungfrauen?

 

Midnight’s hour is now approaching
They call to us with lucid voices:
Where are the clever virgins now?

 

Wohl auf, der Bräutgam kömmt;
Steht auf, die Lampen nehmt!
Alleluja!

 

Behold, the bridegroom comes
Rise up, your lanterns take!
Alleluia!

 

Macht euch bereit
Zu der Hochzeit,
Ihr müsset ihm entgegen gehn!

 

Prepare yourself
For the wedding,
You must arise and go to him!

       

4

Choral T

4

Chorale [Tenor]

 

Violino I/II e Viola all' unisono, Continuo

   
 

Zion hört die Wächter singen,
Das Herz tut ihr vor Freuden springen,
Sie wachet und steht eilend auf.

 

Zion hears the watchmen singing
The maidens’ hearts with joy are springing
They wake and quickly to Him go.

 

Ihr Freund kommt vom Himmel prächtig,
Von Gnaden stark, von Wahrheit mächtig,
Ihr Licht wird hell, ihr Stern geht auf.

 

Their Friend comes in Heav’nly splendor
With graceful strength, with mercy tender
Their light is bright, their star doth glow.

 

Nun komm, du werte Kron,
Herr Jesu, Gottes Sohn!
Hosianna!

 

Now come, thou worthy One;
Lord Jesus, God’s own Son
Hosanna!

 

Wir folgen all
Zum Freudensaal
Und halten mit das Abendmahl.

 

We follow all
To that glad hall
To our Lord’s table we are called.

       

7

Choral

7

Chorale [S, A, T, B]

 

Corno e Oboe I e Violino piccolo in octava e Violino I col Soprano, Oboe II e Violino II coll'Alto, Taille e Viola col Tenore, Continuo

 

Gloria sei dir gesungen
Mit Menschen- und englischen Zungen,
Mit Harfen und mit Zimbeln schon.

 

“Gloria” we all are singing
With earth and heav’n our voices ringing
With harp and cymbal’s clearest tone.

 

Von zwölf Perlen sind die Pforten,
An deiner Stadt sind wir Konsorten
Der Engel hoch um deinen Thron.

 

Twelve great pearls adorn the portals.
At your fair city we are consorts
With angels high around Your throne.

 

Kein Aug hat je gespürt,
Kein Ohr hat je gehört
Solche Freude.

 

No eye has ever seen
No ear has ever heard
Such a rapture.

 

Des sind wir froh,
Io, io!
Ewig in dulci jubilo.

 

Our song doth go
Io, Io!
Ever in dulci jubilo.

       
   

English Translation: Marlon G. Hurst

 

Notes from the translator:

For verse 1, I endeavored to match English for German wherever possible, and tried to match similar phonetic sounds when possible - all without regard for rhyme structure. Since the poetic lines in this movement are delivered so far apart (in time) from one another, I felt that rhyme structure was less important than matching word for word to compliment Bach's text painting.

For verses 2 & 3, since the poetic form is more evident, I attempted to maintain a rhyme structure. And while not perfect, I again sacrificed some sense of poetry for a more literal rendering of the German.

--

Contributed by Marlon G. Hurst - Director of Music & Arts, First Presbyterian Church (USA) of Lexington, Kentucky (November 2005)

Cantata BWV 140: Complete Recordings | Recordings of Individual Movements | Discussions: Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4 | Part 5
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Last update: ýJuly 11, 2008 ý10:19:25