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Cantata BWV 151
Süßer Trost, mein Jesus kömmt
English Translation in Interlinear Format
Cantata BWV 151 - Sweet consolation

Event: Solo Cantata for the 3rd Day of Christmas [Christmas Tuesday, St John's Day]
Readings: Epistle: Hebrews 1: 1-14 / Ecclesiastical Letters 15: 1-8; Gospel: John 1: 1-14
Text: Georg Christian Lehms (Mvts. 1-4); Nikolaus Herman (Mvt. 5)
Chorale Text: Lobt Gott, ihr Christen, allzugleich

Biblical quotations in green font, chorales in purple

1

Aria [Soprano]

Flauto traverso, Oboe d'amore col Violino I, Violino II, Viola, Continuo

Süßer Trost, mein Jesus kömmt,
Sweet consolation, my Jesus comes,
Jesus wird anitzt geboren!
Jesus is now born!
Herz und Seele freuet sich,
My heart and soul rejoice,
Denn mein liebster Gott hat mich
since my dearest God has
Nun zum Himmel auserkoren.
now chosen me for heaven.

2

Recitative [Bass]

Continuo

Erfreue dich, mein Herz,
Rejoice, my heart,
Denn itzo weicht der Schmerz,
since now the pain yields
Der dich so lange Zeit gedrücket.
that has oppressed you for so long.
Gott hat den liebsten Sohn,
God has sent his dearest son,
Den er so hoch und teuer hält,
whom he holds so high and dear,
Auf diese Welt geschicket.
to this world.
Er läßt den Himmelsthron
He leaves his heavenly throne
Und will die ganze Welt
and wants to rescue the whole world
Aus ihren Sklavenketten
from their chains of slavery
Und ihrer Dienstbarkeit erretten.
and their servitude.
O wundervolle Tat!
O wonderful deed!
Gott wird ein Mensch und will auf Erden
God becomes a man and on earth is willing
Noch niedriger als wir und noch viel ärmer werden.
to become even more lowly than we are and much poorer.

3

Aria [Alto]

Oboe d'amore, Violino I/II e Viola all' unisono, Continuo

In Jesu Demut kann ich Trost,
In Jesus' humility I can find consolation,
In seiner Armut Reichtum finden.
in his poverty I can find riches.
Mir macht desselben schlechter Stand
This same mean condition of his makes me
Nur lauter Heil und Wohl bekannt,
aware of real health and prosperity.
Ja, seine wundervolle Hand
Yes, his wonderful hand
Will mir nur Segenskränze winden.
will crown me with a garland of blessing.

4

Recitative [Tenor]

Continuo

Du teurer Gottessohn,
You dear Son of God,
Nun hast du mir den Himmel aufgemacht
now you have opened heaven for me
Und durch dein Niedrigsein
and through your humble existence
Das Licht der Seligkeit zuwege bracht.
brought about the light of blessedness.
Weil du nun ganz allein
Since now you alone
Des Vaters Burg und Thron
Aus Liebe gegen uns verlassen,
from love towards us have abandoned your father's stronghold and throne,
So wollen wir dich auch
so we want also
Dafür in unser Herze fassen.
because of this to hold you fast in our hearts.

5

Chorale [S, A, T, B]

Flauto traverso e Oboe d'amore e Violino I col Soprano, Violino II coll'Alto, Viola col Tenore, Continuo

Heut schleußt er wieder auf die Tür
Today he again unlocks the door
Zum schönen Paradeis,
to the beautiful paradise,
Der Cherub steht nicht mehr dafür,
the cherub no more stands in front,
Gott sei Lob, Ehr und Preis.
to God be glory, honour and praise.

Note on the text

The libretto is by Georg Christian Lehms (1684- 1717). He was the court librarian and poet at Darmstadt. In 1711 he published a cycle of cantata texts. Bach used this in 1714 in Weimar for BWV 199 Mein Herz schwimmt in Blut . Most of the cantatas written around Christmas 1725 are on texts by Lehms ( BWV 110, BWV 57, BWV 151, BWV 16, BWV 32 and BWV 13). In the summer 1726 he set two more texts by Lehms (BWV 35 and BWV 170).

Lehms published shorter, more intimate texts for the afternoon services, and it was mainly these that were set by Bach as solo or dialogue works.

The text of this cantata has no close connection with the Gospel reading but meditates on the Christmas Epistle (Hebrews 1: 1-14) : the coming of Christ and the joyful hope of salvation. Repeated emphasis is placed on the paradox that God's humility has exalted the human race. The final chorale is the eighth strophe of the hymn Lobt Gott, ihr Christen, allzugleich by Nikolaus Herman (1560), who also wrote the melody. The hymn was listed as appropriate to the third day of Christmas in both the Leipzig and Dresden hymn schedules.

--

This Translation in Parallel Format

English Translation by Francis Browne (May 2003)
Contributed by Francis Browne (May 2003)

Cantata BWV 151: Details & Complete Recordings | Recordings of Individual Movements | Discussions: Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3
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Chorale Text:
Lobt Gott, ihr Christen, allzugleich

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Last update: July 6, 2012 23:27:52