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Liebster Gott, wenn werd ich sterben
Text and Translation of Chorale

EKG:
Author: Caspar Neumann (c1690)
Chorale Melody: Liebster Gott, wann werd ich sterben | Composer: Daniel Vetter (1690)

 

Vocal Works by J.S. Bach:

Ver

Work

Mvt.

Year

Br

RE

KE

Di

BC

Type

 

1

BWV 8

Mvt. 1

1724

-

-

-

-

A137:1

Chorus [S, A, T, B]

 

2-4~

BWV 8

Mvt. 2

1724

-

-

-

-

A137:2

Aria [T]

 

2-4~

BWV 8

Mvt. 3

1724

-

-

-

-

A137:3

Recitative [A]

 

2-4~

BWV 8

Mvt. 4

1724

-

-

-

-

A137:4

Aria [B]

 

2-4~

BWV 8

Mvt. 5

1724

-

-

-

-

A137:5

Recitative [S]

 

5

BWV 8

Mvt. 6

1724

43

227

43

88
148

F131.1
A137:6

Chorale [S, A, T, B]

 

1-5

BWV 483

-

1736

-

-

-

-

F279

Sacred Song [S]

 
 
 

German Text (verses in bold print set by Bach)

English Translation

1

Liebster Gott, wenn werd ich sterben?
Meine Zeit läuft immer hin,
und des alten Adams Erben,
unter denen ich auch bin,
haben das zum Vaterteil,
daß sie eine kleine Weil
arm und elend sein auf Erden
und denn selber Erde werden.

Dearest God, when shall I die?
my time runs continually away,
and the heirs of old Adam,
among whom I am also included,
have as an inheritance from their father
that they for a short while
are poor and wretched on the earth
and then themselves become earth.

2

Ich zwar will mich auch nicht widern,
zu beschließen meine Zeit,
trag ich doch in allen Gliedern
Samen von der Sterblichkeit;
geht doch immer da und dort
einer nach dem andern fort,
und schon mancher liegt im Grabe,
den ich wohl gekennet habe.

Indeed I will not be bothered
to determine my time,
since I carry in all my limbs
seeds of mortality;
there goes continually from here and there
one person after another on their way,
and already many people lie in the grave
whom I knew well.

3

Aber Gott, was wird ich denken,
wenn es wir ans Sterben gehen?
Wo wird man den Leib hinsenken,
wie wird’s um die Seele stehn?
Ach! was Kummer fällt mir ein!
Wessen wird mein Vorrat sein,
und wo werden meine Lieben
nach dem Tode hin verstieben?

But God,what shall I think
when it is my turn to die?
Where will my body be buried,
what will be the state of my soul?
Ah, what anxiety comes into my mind!
Who will have my reserves
and where will those thatI love
be dispersed after my death?

4

Doch entweicht, ihr schnöden Sorgen,
soll ich nicht zu Jesu gehen?
Lieber heute noch als morgen,
denn mein Fleisch wird auferstehn.
Ich verseih es gern der Welt,
daß sie alles hier behält
und bescheide meinen Erben
einen Gott, der nicht kann sterben.

Yet disappear, you base anxieties,
shall I not go to Jesus?
Better this very day than tomorrow
if my flesh will rise again.
I willingly resign to the world
everything here to keep
and choose for my inheritance
a God, who cannot die

5

Herrscher über Tod und Leben,
mach einmal mein Ende gut,
laß mich meinen Geist aufgeben
mit recht wohlgefaßten Mut.
Hilf, daß ich ein ehrlich Grab
neben frommen Christen hab
und auch endlich in der Erde
nimmermehr zuschanden werde.

Lord over life and death
grant me finally a good end,
let me give up my spirit
with truly composed courage
Help me, so that I may have an honourable grave
among pious Christians
and also finally in the earth
may never suffer harm .

--

German Text provided by Thomas Braatz (May 2006)
English Translation by Francis Browne (August 2006)
Contributed by Francis Browne (August 2006)

Cantata BWV 8: Complete Recordings | Recordings of Individual Movements | Discussions
German | German-2 | Translations: Dutch-2 | Dutch-3 | English-1 | English-3 | English-6 | French-1 | French-4 | French-6 | Hebrew-1 | Indonesian | Italian-2 | Portuguese-2 | Russian-1 | Spanish-2

Chorales BWV 250-438
Recordings | General Discussions: Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Chorales in Bach's Vocal Works: Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4 | Part 5 | Part 6 | Hidden Chorale Melody Allusions | Passion Chorale
Individual Recordings:
Hilliard - Morimur | Chorales - Matt | Chorales - Rilling | Preludi ai Corali - Quartetto Italiani di Viola Da Gamba
References:
Chorales BWV 250-300 | Chorales BWV 301-350 | Chorales BWV 351-400 | Chorales BWV 401-438
Texts & English Translations of Chorales:
Sorted by Title
Chorale Melodies:
Sorted by Title | 371 4-Part Chorales sorted by Breitkopf Number | Explanation
MIDI files of the Chorales:
Cantatas BWV 1-197 | Other Vocal Works BWV 225-248 | Chorales BWV 250-438
Articles:
The Origin of the Texts of the Chorales [A. Schweitzer] | The Origin of the Melodies of the Chorales [A. Schweitzer] | The Chorale in the Church Service [A. Schweitzer] | Choral / Chorale [C.S. Terry] | The History of the Breitkopf Collection of J. S. Bach’s Four-Part Chorales [T. Braatz] | Chorale Melody Allusions in Bach's Vocal Works [T. Braatz]
Hymnals used by Bach | Abbreviations used for the Chorales | Links to other Sites on the Chorales

Texts & English Translations of Chorales: Sorted by Title

Texts & Translations: Main Page | Cantatas BWV 1-50 | Cantatas BWV 51-100 | Cantatas BWV 101-150 | Cantatas BWV 151-200 | Cantatas BWV 201-224 | Other Vocal BWV 225-249 | Chorales BWV 250-438 | Geistliche Lieder BWV 439-507 | AMN BWV 508-524 | Other Vocal 1081-1089 | BWV Anh | Chorale Texts | Emblemata | Sources | Poets & Composers
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Last update: ŭSeptember 17, 2008 ŭ08:22:37