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The following are links to English translations for Bach's cantatas and other works rendered in Bach Vespers at Holy Trinity Lutheran Church, NYC. We are pleased for you to peruse these translations for your own enjoyment, but please respect the artistic product they represent and reprint only by permission. Contact office@bachvespersnyc.org for more information.

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Text for Cantata 40  
Darzu ist erschienen der Sohn Gottes 
Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750)


1. CORO

Darzu ist erschienen der Sohn Gottes,
     For this the Son of God became manifest,
daß er die Werke des Teufels zerstöre.  
     that he might destroy the work of the Devil.

2. RECITATIVO TENORE
Das Wort ward Fleisch und wohnet in der Welt,
     The word became flesh and dwelt in the world,
das Licht der Welt bestrahlt den Kreis der Erden,
     the light of the world radiated
     over the sphere of the earth,
der große Gottessohn
     the great Son of God
verlässt des Himmels Thron,
     abandoned the throne of heaven,
und seiner Majestät gefällt,
     and it pleased his majesty
ein kleines Menschenkind zu werden.
     to become a meager human child.
Bedenkt doch diesen Tausch,
     Ponder indeed this transformation,
wer nur gedenken kann;
     whoever can but fathom;
der König wird ein Untertan,
     the king becomes a subject,
der Herr erscheinet als ein Knecht
     the lord appears as a servant
und wird dem menschlichen Geschlecht
     and will, unto the human race,
- O süßes Wort in aller Ohren!
     - O sweet word to all ears! -
zu Trost und Heil geboren.
     be born for comfort and salvation.
 
3. CORALE
Die Sünd macht Leid;
     Sin causes sorrow;
Christus bringt Freud,
     Christ brings joy
weil er zu Trost in diese Welt ist kommen.
     for he is come into this world for comfort.
Mit uns ist Gott
     God is with us
nun in der Not:
     now in distress:
wer ist, der uns als Christen kann verdammen?
     who is it that can condemn us as Christians?
 
4. ARIA BASSO
Höllische Schlange,
wird dir nicht bange?
     Will you hellish serpent,
     not be afeard?
Der dir den Kopf als ein Sieger zerknickt,
     He who stomps your head as victor
ist nun geboren,
     is now born,
und die verloren,
     and those lost
werden mit ewigem Frieden beglückt.
     will be delighted with eternal joy.
 
5. RECITATIVO ALTO
Die Schlange, so im Paradies
     The serpent, once in paradise,
auf alle Adamskinder
das Gift der Seelen fallen ließ,
     who caused the soul’s venom 
     to pervade all Adam’s children,
bringt uns nicht mehr Gefahr;
     no longer brings us peril;
des Weibes Samen stellt sich dar,
     the woman’s seed presents itself,
der Heiland ist ins Fleisch gekommen
     the Savior is come in the flesh
und hat ihr allen Gift benommen.
     and has neutralized all its venom.
Drum sei getrost! betrübter Sünder.
     Thus be comforted! sorrowful sinner.
 
6. CORALE
Schüttle deinen Kopf und sprich:
     Shake your head and say:
fleuch, du alte Schlange!
     retreat, you ancient serpent!
Was erneurst du deinen Stich,
machst mir angst und bange?
     What anew in your sting
     can cause me fear and worry?
Ist dir doch der Kopf zerknickt,
     Your head has indeed been stomped
und ich bin durchs Leiden
meines Heilands dir entrückt
     and I am borne away from you
     by the suffering of my Savior
in den Saal der Freuden.
      unto the halls of joy.
 
7. ARIA TENORE
Christenkinder, freuet euch!
     Christian children, rejoice!
Wütet schon das Höllenreich,
     As the realm of hell now rages,
will euch Satans Grimm erschrecken:
     Satans wrath will terrify you:
Jesus, der erretten kann,
     Jesus, who can redeem,
nimmt sich seiner Küchlein an
     takes up his little chicks
und will sie mit Flügeln decken.
     and will shield them with his wings.
 
8. CORALE
Jesu, nimm dich deiner Glieder
ferner in Genaden an;
     Jesus further embrace your members;
schenke, was man bitten kann,
     impart what one can ask
zu erquicken deine Brüder:
     to refresh your brethren:
gib der ganzen Christenschar
     grant all of Christendom
Frieden und ein selges Jahr!
     peace and a blessed year!
Freude, Freude über Freude!
     Joy, joy, abundant joy!
Christus wehret allem Leide.
     Christ curbs all suffering.
Wonne, Wonne über Wonne!
     Bliss, bliss, abundant bliss!
Er ist die Genadensonne.
     He is the sun of grace.


___________________________________________________________________________
COMPOSED: December 26, 1723 (Leipzig) for the Feast of St. Stephen (2nd Day of Christmas)
LIBRETTIST: unknown; Mvt. 1. 1 John 3:8; Mvt. 3. Kaspar Füger, stanza 3 of Wir Christenleut (1592); Mvt. 6. Paul Gerhardt, stanza 2 of Schwing dich auf zu deinem Gott (1653); Mvt. 10. Christian Keymann, Freuet euch, ihr Christen alle (1646)
TRANSLATION: Tobin Schmuck 2012 © Bach Vespers at Holy Trinity Lutheran Church, NYC
Use by permission only please.  office@bachvespersnyc.org

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