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Cantata BWV 33
Allein zu dir, Herr Jesu Christ
English Translation in Interlinear Format
Cantata BWV 33 - Alone towards you, Lord Jesus Christ

Event: Chorale Cantata for the 13th Sunday after Trinity
Readings: Epistle Galatians 3: 15-22; Gospel: Luke 10: 23-37
Text: Konrad Hubert (Mvts. 1, 6); Anon (Mvts. 2-5)
Chorale Text: Allein zu dir, Herr Jesu Christ

Biblical quotations in green font, chorales in purple


Chorus (Chorale) [S, A, T, B]

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

Allein zu dir, Herr Jesu Christ,
Alone towards you, Lord Jesus Christ,
Mein Hoffnung steht auf Erden;
my hope on earth looks;
Ich weiß, daß du mein Tröster bist,
I know that you are my comforter,
Kein Trost mag mir sonst werden.
nowhere else can there be any comfort for me.
Von Anbeginn ist nichts erkorn,
From the very beginning nothing has been decreed,
Auf Erden war kein Mensch geborn,
no man was born on earth
Der mir aus Nöten helfen kann.
who can help me out of my troubles.
Ich ruf dich an,
I call to you
Zu dem ich mein Vertrauen hab.
in whom I put my trust.


Recitative [Bass]


Mein Gott und Richter, willt du mich aus dem Gesetze fragen,
My God and judge, if you want to question me by the law,
So kann ich nicht,
then I am unable
Weil mein Gewissen widerspricht,
- since my conscience contradicts me -
Auf tausend eines sagen. Job 9:3
to say one thing against a thousand.
An Seelenkräften arm und an der Liebe bloß,
In my soul's strength I am weak and in my love bare,
Und meine Sünd ist schwer und übergroß;
and my sin is heavy and too great;
Doch weil sie mich von Herzen reuen,
but since I repent my sins from my heart,
Wirst du, mein Gott und Hort,
you will, my God and refuge,
Durch ein Vergebungswort
through your word of forgiveness
Mich wiederum erfreuen.
give me joy again.


Aria [Alto]

Violino I con sordino, Violino II, Viola, Continuo

Wie furchtsam wankten meine Schritte,
How fearfully were faltering my footsteps,
Doch Jesus hört auf meine Bitte
but Jesus listens to my entreaties
Und zeigt mich seinem Vater an.
and bears witness for me to his Father.
Mich drückten Sündenlasten nieder,
The burden of my sins weighed down heavily on me,
Doch hilft mir Jesu Trostwort wieder,
but Jesus' word of comfort reassures me
Daß er für mich genung getan.
that he has done enough for me.


Recitative [Tenor]


Mein Gott, verwirf mich nicht, Psalm 51:11
My God, do not cast me away
Wiewohl ich dein Gebot noch täglich übertrete,
- even though every day I still overstep your commandment -
Von deinem Angesicht!
from your face!
Das kleinste ist mir schon zu halten viel zu schwer;
The smallest thing is far too difficult for me to keep;
Doch, wenn ich um nichts mehr
but if I pray for nothing more
Als Jesu Beistand bete,
than Jesus' assistance,
So wird mich kein Gewissensstreit
no conflict of conscience
Der Zuversicht berauben;
can take my confidence away from me.
Gib mir nur aus Barmherzigkeit
In your mercy give me only
Den wahren Christenglauben!
true Christian faith!
So stellt er sich mit guten Früchten ein
This faith is apparent in good fruits
Und wird durch Liebe tätig sein. Galatians 5 : 6
and will be active through love.


Aria (Duet) [Tenor, Bass]

Oboe I/II, Continuo

Gott, der du die Liebe heißt,
God, you who are called love,
Ach, entzünde meinen Geist,
ah, enkindle my spirit,
Laß zu dir vor allen Dingen
towards you before everything else
Meine Liebe kräftig dringen!
let my love strongly push its way!
Gib, daß ich aus reinem Triebe
Grant that from a pure impulse
Als mich selbst den Nächsten liebe; Luke 10:27
I may love my neighbour as myself.
Stören Feinde meine Ruh,
If enemies disturb my peace,
Sende du mir Hülfe zu!
then send me your help!


Chorale [S, A, T, B]

Oboe I e Violino I col Soprano, Oboe II e Violino II coll'Alto, Viola col Tenore, Continuo

Ehr sei Gott in dem höchsten Thron,
Honour be to God on the highest throne,
Dem Vater aller Güte,
to the Father of all goodness
Und Jesu Christ, sein'm liebsten Sohn,
and to Jesus Christ, his dearest Son,
Der uns allzeit behüte,
who protects us always,
Und Gott dem Heiligen Geiste,
and to God the Holy Spirit,
Der uns sein Hülf allzeit leiste,
who always supports us with his help,
Damit wir ihm gefällig sein,
so that we may be pleasing to him.
Hier in dieser Zeit
here in this time
Und folgends in der Ewigkeit.
and thereafter in eternity.

Note on the text

BWV 33 was written for the 13th Sunday after Trinity and was first performed on 3rd September 1724. It is therefore part of Bach's second annual Leipzig cycle of cantatas which includes many chorale cantatas. The normal practice is to include the opening and closing stanzas of a chorale unchanged but to adapt the rest of the
chorale text for recitatives and arias. The gospel for this Sunday is Luke 10: 23-37, the parable of the good samaritan and Bach's anonymous librettist has used a chorale which makes passing reference to love of neighbours but is most concerned with God's love for mankind and our response. Allein zu dir, Herr Jesu Christ is a four stanza chorale written by Konrad Hubert and first published in 1540.

The first stanza is set without any change of text. Hubert's second stanza provides the first recitative and aria. At the beginning of the recitative Bach's librettist uses a passage from the book of Job (9:2-3) : How should a man be just with God? If he will contend with him, he cannot answer him one of a thousand. He then adapts the beginning of the second stanza of the chorale.

For the first aria the librettist takes the plea in the chorale to Jesus to show to the father what he has done for men and makes the text both more personal (wie furchtsam) and more confident in the fact of Jesus' help.

The third stanza of the chorale is similarly treated. A biblical reference is added at the beginning of the recitative :Cast me not away from your presence, and take not thy holy spirit from me (Psalm 51:11) and then the
opening of the stanza is used for the rest of the recitative.

For the second aria what in the chorale is a prayer addressed to Jesus becomes in the cantata addressed to God himself. The final Trinitarian stanza of the chorale is used unchanged.


This Translation in Parallel Format

English Translation by Francis Browne (August 2002; revised & notes January 2012)
Contributed by Francis Browne (August 2002, January 2012)

Cantata BWV 33: Details & Complete Recordings | Recordings of Individual Movements | Discussions: Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3
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Chorale Text:
Allein zu dir, Herr Jesu Christ

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Last update: żAugust 3, 2012 ż22:42:54