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Cantata BWV 3
Ach Gott, wie manches Herzeleid [I]
English Translation in Interlinear Format
Cantata BWV 3 - Ah God, how many a heartache

Event: 2nd Sunday after Epiphany
Readings: Epistle: Romans 12: 6-16; Gospel: John 2: 1-11
Text: Martin Moller (Mvts. 1, 2, 6); Anon (Mvts. 3-5)
Chorale Text: Ach Gott, wie manches Herzeleid

Biblical quotations in green font, chorales in purple

1

Chorus [S, A, T, B]

Oboe d'amore I/II e Trombone col Basso, Violino I/II, Viola, Continuo

Ach Gott, wie manches Herzeleid
Ah God, how many a heartache
Begegnet mir zu dieser Zeit!
I meet with in this time!
Der schmale Weg ist trübsalvoll,
The narrow way is full of affliction
Den ich zum Himmel wandern soll.
by which I must travel to heaven.

2

Recitative (Chorale) [Tenor, Alto, Soprano, Bass / S, A, T, B]

Continuo

Wie schwerlich läßt sich Fleisch und Blut
With what difficulty is flesh and blood

Tenor:
So nur nach Irdischem und Eitlem trachtet
- that strives after only what is earthly and vain
Und weder Gott noch Himmel achtet,
and respects neither God nor heaven -

All:
Zwingen zu dem ewigen Gut!
compelled to care for the everlasting good!

Alto:
Da du, o Jesu, nun mein alles bist,
Since you , o Jesus, are now my all
Und doch mein Fleisch so widerspenstig ist.
and yet my flesh is so unruly

All:
Wo soll ich mich denn wenden hin?
where should I turn to ?

Soprano:
Das Fleisch ist schwach, doch will der Geist;
The flesh is weak, but the spirit is willing;
So hilf du mir, der du mein Herze weißt.
then help me , you who know my heart.

All:
Zu dir, o Jesu, steht mein Sinn.
It is you, Jesus, by whom my thoughts stand.

Bass:
Wer deinem Rat und deiner Hilfe traut,
The person who trusts your counsel and help
Der hat wohl nie auf falschen Grund gebaut,
has certainly not built on false ground,
Da du der ganzen Welt zum Trost gekommen,
since you came for the consolation of the whole world
Und unser Fleisch an dich genommen,
and took our flesh upon you,
So rettet uns dein Sterben
and so your death rescues us
Vom endlichen Verderben.
from final ruin.
Drum schmecke doch ein gläubiges Gemüte
Therefore a believing spirit still tastes
Des Heilands Freundlichkeit und Güte.
the Saviour's friendship and goodness.

3

Aria [Bass]

Continuo

Empfind ich Höllenangst und Pein,
Although I may feel hell's anguish and pain,
Doch muß beständig in dem Herzen
yet always in my heart
Ein rechter Freudenhimmel sein.
there must be a true heavenly joy.
Ich darf nur Jesu Namen nennen,
If I may only mention Jesus' name,
Der kann auch unermeßne Schmerzen
that can pierce even through immeasurable sorrows
Als einen leichten Nebel trennen.
as if they were a light mist.

4

Recitative [Tenor]

Continuo

Es mag mir Leib und Geist verschmachten,
My body and spirit may languish,
Bist du, o Jesu, mein
but if you are mine, o Jesus,
Und ich bin dein,
and I am yours
Will ichs nicht achten.
I will not be at all concerned.
Dein treuer Mund
Your faithful mouth
Und dein unendlich Lieben,
and your eternal love,
Das unverändert stets geblieben,
that remains unchanged for ever,
Erhält mir noch den ersten Bund,
still maintain your first covenant with me.
Der meine Brust mit Freudigkeit erfüllet
This fills my breast with joy
Und auch des Todes Furcht, des Grabes Schrecken stillet.
and also calms the fear of death, the terror of the grave.
Fällt Not und Mangel gleich von allen Seiten ein,
Though need and necessity may occur everywhere at once
Mein Jesus wird mein Schatz und Reichtum sein.
my Jesus will be my treasure and riches.

5

Aria (Duetto) [Soprano, Alto]

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

Wenn Sorgen auf mich dringen,
When cares press upon me,
Will ich in Freudigkeit
I want in joy
Zu meinem Jesu singen.
to sing to my Jesus.
Mein Kreuz hilft Jesus tragen,
Jesus helps to bear my cross,
Drum will ich gläubig sagen:
therefore I want to say in faith:
Es dient zum besten allezeit.
it is always for the best.

6

Chorale [S, A, T, B]

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

Erhalt mein Herz im Glauben rein,
Keep my heart pure in faith
So leb und sterb ich dir allein.
so I may live and die for you alone.
Jesu, mein Trost, hör mein Begier,
Jesus, my comfort, hear my desire,
O mein Heiland, wär ich bei dir.
o my Saviour , I wish that I were with you.

Note on the text

The text of this chorale cantata is based on Martin Moller’s 18 verse hymn of the same title. (1587) This in turn is based on the Latin poem Jesu dulcis memoria. The librettist treats the chorale much in the normal manner of the Leipzig cantata texts, using two strophes for the opening chorus and the closing harmonisation (movements 1 and 6) and paraphrasing some of the intervening verses for the inner movements (3-5). The second movement, a chorale harmonisation with interpolated recitative, has a composite text combining the second strophe of the original chorale and added text by the librettist.

(Information based on Oxford Composer Companion: J. S. Bach)

--

This Translation in Parallel Format

English Translation by Francis Browne (January 2003; revised January 2007)
Contributed by Francis Browne (January 2003)

Cantata BWV 3: Details & Complete Recordings | Recordings of Individual Movements | Discussions: Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4
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Chorale Text:
Ach Gott, wie manches Herzeleid

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Last update: ýMarch 24, 2012 ý08:12:30