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Cantata BWV 23
Du wahrer Gott und Davids Sohn
English Translation in Interlinear Format
Cantata BWV 23 - You true God and son of David

Event: Cantata for Quinquagesima Sunday (Estomihi)
Readings: Epistle: 1 Corinthians 13: 1-13; Gospel: Luke 18: 31-43
Text: Anonymous

Biblical quotations in green font, chorales in purple

1

Aria (Duet) [Soprano, Alto]

Oboe I/II, Continuo

Du wahrer Gott und Davids Sohn,
You true God and son of David,
Der du von Ewigkeit in der Entfernung schon
who already from eternity and from afar
Mein Herzeleid und meine Leibespein
my heartache and bodily pain
Umständlich angesehn, erbarm dich mein!
have seen intimately,have mercy on me!
Und lass durch deine Wunderhand,
And let your miraculous hand,
Die so viel Böses abgewandt,
that has turned aside so much evil,
Mir gleichfalls Hilf und Trost geschehen.
act for me likewise as help and consolation.

2

Recitative [Tenor]

Oboe I/II e Violino I all' unisono, Violino II, Continuo

Ach! gehe nicht vorüber;
Ah! do not pass by,
Du, aller Menschen Heil,
you, the salvation of all mankind,
Bist ja erschienen,
have indeed appeared
Die Kranken und nicht die Gesunden zu bedienen.
to serve the sick and not the healthy.
Drum nehm ich ebenfalls an deiner Allmacht teil;
Therefore I too take my share in your omnipotence;
Ich sehe dich auf diesen Wegen,
I see you on this road
Worauf man
where they
Mich hat wollen legen,
wanted to let me lie,
Auch in der Blindheit an.
blind as I was.
Ich fasse mich
I recollect myself
Und lasse dich
and do not let you go
Nicht ohne deinen Segen.
without your blessing.

3

Chorus [S, A, T, B]

Oboe I/II, Violino I/II, Viola, Continuo

Aller Augen warten, Herr,
All eyes wait, Lord,
Du allmächtger Gott, auf dich,
Almighty God, upon you,
Und die meinen sonderlich.
and my eyes especially.
Gib denselben Kraft und Licht,
Give them strength and light,
Laß sie nicht
do not leave them
Immerdar in Finsternissen!
for ever in darkness!
Künftig soll dein Wink allein
In future a sign from you alone shall be
Der geliebte Mittelpunkt
the beloved focus
Aller ihrer Werke sein,
of all their work
Bis du sie einst durch den Tod
until once and for all in death
Wiederum gedenkst zu schließen.
you decide to close them again.

4

Chorale [S, A, T, B]

Cornetto col Soprano, Trombone I coll'Alto, Trombone II col Tenore, Trombone III col Basso, Oboe I/II, Violino I/II, Viola, Continuo

Christe, du Lamm Gottes,
Christ, you lamb of God,
Der du trägst die Sünd der Welt,
you who take away the sins of the world.
Erbarm dich unser!
have mercy on us!
Christe, du Lamm Gottes,
Christ, you lamb of God,
Der du trägst die Sünd der Welt,
you who take away the sins of the world,
Erbarm dich unser!
have mercy on us!
Christe, du Lamm Gottes,
Christ, you lamb of God,
Der du trägst die Sünd der Welt,
you who take away the sins of the world
Gib uns dein' Frieden. Amen.
grant us your peace. Amen.

Note on the text

This is one of two cantatas performed at the Hauptgottesdienst in the Thomaskirche, Leipzig, on 7 February 1723 as Bach's audition pieces for the post of Thomaskantor.

Earlier in the service Cantata BWV 22 was heard, Cantata BWV 23 being performed during the distribution of communion. In Lutheran worship the Agnus Dei, in either Latin or German, was customarily sung at Communion, and Cantata BWV 23 therefore makes appropriate and significant use of the German Agnus Dei, Christe, du Lamm Gottes.

Movement 1 is linked both to the blind man's cry for mercy in the Gospel for the day (Luke 18: 31-42) and to the liturgical prayer for mercy, the Agnus Dei. In the following recitative the connection is emphasized in a profound conjunction of parallel ideas, one verbal and the other non-verbal. The text is based on the words of wrestling Jacob in Genesis 32: 26: `I will not let thee go, except thou bless me.' Here the tenor expresses the request to the Saviour not to leave without imparting a blessing. The non-verbal parallel thought is expressed by the unison oboes and first violins, who together play, in augmentation, the first melodic line of the Agnus Dei, `Christe, du Lamm Gottes, der trägst die Sünd der Welt, erbarm dich unser' With this textless use of the German Agnus Dei Bach particularizes the desire for health and salvation expressed in the recitative.

Movement 3 is in a kind of rondo form, in which words from Psalm 145: 15, 'The eyes of all wait upon thee, 0 Lord', sung by the whole chorus in four parts, alternate with episodes for tenor and bass only. The whole psalm verse, which continues `and thou givest them their meat in due season', was frequently expounded as a eucharistic reference in homiletic and devotional literature: God feeds the faithful with the body and blood of Jesus Christ.

(Information from : Oxford Composer Companion : J.S. Bach)

--

This Translation in Parallel Format

English Translation by Francis Browne (June 2005)
Contributed by Francis Browne (June 2005)

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Last update: żAugust 2, 2012 ż07:37:01