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Cantata BWV 209
Non sa che sia dolore
English Translation in Interlinear Format
Cantata BWV 209 -
He does not know what sorrow is

Event: Farewell Cantata for Johann Matthias Gesner on his posting to Ansbach ?
Text: Anon

1

Sinfonia

Flauto traverso, Violino I/II, Viola, Continuo

2

Recitative [Soprano]

Violino I/II, Viola, Continuo

Non sa che sia dolore
He does not know what sorrow is
Chi dall' amico suo parte e non more.
who parts from his friend and does not die.
Il fanciullin' che plora e geme
The child who weeps and groans
Ed allor che più ei teme,
and then is more afraid,
Vien la madre a consolar.
his mother comes to console.
Va dunque a cenni del cielo,
Go therefore at the signs from heaven,
Adempi or di Minerva il zelo.
fulfil now the zeal of Minerva.

3

Aria [Soprano]

Flauto traverso, Violino I/II, Viola, Continuo

Parti pur e con dolore
Depart then and with sorrow
Lasci a noi dolente il core.
leave to us sorrowing hearts.
La patria goderai,
You will delight your fatherland,
A dover la servirai;
in its service you will do your duty;
Varchi or di sponda in sponda,
Cross now from shore to shore,
Propizi vedi il vento e l'onda.
may you see the wind and waves favourable to you.

4

Recitative [Soprano]

Continuo

Tuo saver al tempo e l'età contrasta,
Your knowledge contrasts with the time and age,
Virtù e valor solo a vincer basta;
virtue and valour alone are sufficient to conquer;
Ma chi gran ti farà più che non fusti
but who will make you greater than you were
Ansbaca, piena di tanti Augusti.
Ansbach, full of so many distinguished people ?

5

Aria [Soprano]

Flauto traverso, Violino I/II, Viola, Continuo

Ricetti gramezza e pavento,
Do away with anxiety and dread,
Qual nocchier, placato il vento,
like the steersman, when the wind is calmed,
Più non teme o si scolora,
who no more fears or turns pale
Ma contento in su la prora
but content on his prow
Va cantando in faccia al mar.
goes singing in the face of the sea.

Note on the text

The principal source of BWV 209 is a copy made by J.N. Forkel in 1800. The authenticity of the work has been much discussed. It may have been con­ceived as a farewell cantata on the depart­ure of a teacher. But the text seems rather to be addressed to a young man leaving for military service and in two separate passages makes reference to the sea All this suggests that the cantata relates to the departure from a port (Hamburg, perhaps?) of a young marine officer.

The cantata uses a composite text by an unknown author (perhaps a German); it includes passages from G. B. Guarini's 'Partita dolorosa' (madrigal no. 41 from his Rime, published in Venice in 1598) and Pietro Metastasio's opera Semi­ramide riconosciuta (Act 2, scene 6) and his azione teatrale Galatea, together with other verses prob­ably freely invented. It is not known why Bach had recourse to an Italian text which is, among other things, somewhat irregular and disconnected, showing an incomplete mastery of the language.

(information taken from The Oxford Composer Companion : J.S.Bach)

--

This Translation in Parallel Format

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

Cantata BWV 209: Details & Complete Recordings | Recordings of Individual Movements | Discussions: Part 1 | Part 2
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Last update: ıAugust 13, 2012 ı22:14:17