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Cantata BWV 170
Vergnügte Ruh', beliebte Seelenlust
English Translation in Parallel Format
Cantata BWV 170 - Contented peace

Event: Solo Cantata (for Alto) for the 6th Sunday after Trinity
Readings: Epistle: Romans 6: 3-11; Gospel: Matthew 5: 20-26
Text: Georg Christian Lehms

Biblical quotations in green font, chorales in purple

 

Original German Text

 

English Translation

1

Aria A

1

Aria [Alto]

 

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

 

Vergnügte Ruh, beliebte Seelenlust,
Dich kann man nicht bei Höllensünden,
Wohl aber Himmelseintracht finden;
Du stärkst allein die schwache Brust.
Drum sollen lauter Tugendgaben
In meinem Herzen Wohnung haben.

 

Contented peace,beloved delight of the soul,
you cannot be found among the sins of hell,

but only where there is heavenly harmony;
You alone strengthen the weak breast.
Contented peace,beloved delight of the soul,
For this reason nothing but the gifts of virtue
should have any place in my heart.

       

2

Recitativo A

2

Recitative [Alto]

 

Continuo

   
 

Die Welt, das Sündenhaus,
Bricht nur in Höllenlieder aus
Und sucht durch Hass und Neid
Des Satans Bild an sich zu tragen.
Ihr Mund ist voller Ottergift,
Der oft die Unschuld tödlich trifft,
Und will allein von Racha sagen.
Gerechter Gott, wie weit
Ist doch der Mensch von dir entfernet;
Du liebst, jedoch sein Mund
Macht Fluch und Feindschaft kund
Und will den Nächsten nur mit Füßen treten.
Ach! Diese Schuld ist schwerlich zu verbeten.

 

The world, that place of sin,
bursts out only in hellish songs
and strives through hatred and envy

to bear upon itself the image of Satan.
Its mouth is full of snake's venom
that often deals a mortal blow to the innocent
And only wants to say 'racha' [you worthless person]
Most just God, how far
are people therefore estranged from you;
you love, but their mouth
proclaims curses and enmity
And they only want to tread their neighbour underfoot.
Ah! it is difficult to gain pardon for such guilt through prayer.

       

3

Aria A

3

Aria [Alto]

 

Organo obligato a 2 claviature, Violino I/II e Viola all' unisono, Organo

 

Wie jammern mich doch die verkehrten Herzen,
Die dir, mein Gott, so sehr zuwider sein;
Ich zittre recht und fühle tausend Schmerzen,
Wenn sie sich nur an Rach und Hass erfreun.
Gerechter Gott, was magst du doch gedenken,
Wenn sie allein mit rechten Satansränken
Dein scharfes Strafgebot so frech verlacht.
Ach! ohne Zweifel hast du so gedacht:
Wie jammern mich doch die verkehrten Herzen!

 

How sorry I feel therefore for those perverted hearts
that against you, my God, are so set
I truly shudder and feel a thousand pangs
When they take delight only in vengeance and hatred.
Most just God, what must you then think
when with their truly satanic intrigues
They so insolently deride your strict commands about punishment..
Ah! without doubt you have thought:
How sorry I feel therefore for those perverted hearts!

       

4

Recitativo A

4

Recitative [Alto]

 

Violino I/II, Viola, Continuo

   
 

Wer sollte sich demnach
Wohl hier zu leben wünschen,
Wenn man nur Hass und Ungemach
Vor seine Liebe sieht?
Doch, weil ich auch den Feind
Wie meinen besten Freund
Nach Gottes Vorschrift lieben soll,
So flieht
Mein Herze Zorn und Groll
Und wünscht allein bei Gott zu leben,
Der selbst die Liebe heißt.
Ach, eintrachtvoller Geist,
Wenn wird er dir doch nur sein Himmelszion geben?

 

Who in these circumstances would
wish to live here at all
when only hate and misfortune
Are seen in place of God's love?
But since also my enemy
as if he were my best friend
should be loved by me according to God's commandment
then there depart

from my heart anger and resentment
and my wish is to live for God alone
Who is Love itself
Ah, spirit filled with harmony,
When will the promised land of heaven be given to you?

       

5

Aria A

5

Aria [Alto]

 

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

 

Mir ekelt mehr zu leben,
Drum nimm mich, Jesu, hin!
Mir graut vor allen Sünden,
Laß mich dies Wohnhaus finden,
Wo selbst ich ruhig bin.

 

I feel revulsion to prolong my life,
And so take me away from here, Jesus!
I am horrified by all the sins,
grant that I may find this place to live
Where I myself may be at peace.-

       

This Translation in Interlinear Format

English Translation by Francis Browne (October 2007)

Contributed by Francis Browne (October 2007)

Cantata BWV 170: Details & Complete Recordings | Recordings of Individual Movements | Discussions: Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3
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Last update: July 22, 2012 15:10:09