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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 87
Bisher habt ihr nichts gebeten in meinem Namen
Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750)


1. ARIOSO BASSO
Bisher habt ihr nichts gebeten
     Until now you have prayed for nothing
in meinem Namen.
     in my name.

2. RECITATIVO ALTO
O Wort, das Geist und Seel erschreckt!
     O word, that terrifies spirit and soul!
Ihr Menschen, merkt den Zuruf, was dahinter steckt!
     You people, note what lies behind this summons!
Ihr habt Gesetz und Evangelium vorsätzlich übertreten;
     You have deliberately violated the law and gospel;
und dies möcht' ihr ungesäumt in Buß und Andacht beten.
     and would that you without delay
     pray for this, in penance and devotion.

3. ARIA ALTO
Vergib, o Vater, unsre Schuld
     Forgive, O Father, our guilt
und habe noch mit uns Geduld,
     and still have patience with us
wenn wir in Andacht beten
     when we pray in devotion
und sagen: Herr, auf dein Geheiß,
     and say: Lord, at your bidding
ach, rede nicht mehr sprichwortsweis,
     oh, speak no more in proverbs
hilf uns vielmehr vertreten.
     instead help us as advocate.

4. RECITATIVO TENORE
Wenn unsre Schuld bis an den Himmel steigt,
     When your guilt climbs to heaven
du siehst und kennest ja mein Herz,
     you see and know, indeed, my heart,
das nichts vor dir verschweigt;
     which conceals nothing from you;
drum suche mich zu trösten!
     thus I try to console myself!

5. ARIOSO BASSO
In der Welt habt ihr Angst;
     In this world you have fear;
aber seid getrost,
     but be consoled,
ich habe die Welt überwunden.
     I have overcome the world.

6. ARIA TENORE
Ich will leiden, ich will schweigen,
     I will suffer, I will be silent,
Jesus wird mir Hilf erzeigen,
     Jesus will render me help,
denn er tröst' mich nach dem Schmerz.
     for he comforts me after pain.
Weicht, ihr Sorgen, Trauer, Klagen,
     Yield, you worries, grieving, complaining,
denn warum sollt ich verzagen?
     for why should I despair?
Faße dich betrübtes Herz!
     Compose yourself sorrowed heart!

7. CORALE
Muß ich sein betrübet?
     Must I grieve him?
So mich Jesus liebet,
     Since Jesus loves me
ist mir aller Schmerz
über Honig süße,
     all my pain
     is sweeter than honey,
tausend Zuckerküße
     a thousand sweet kisses
drücket er ans Herz.
     does he plant on my heart.
Wenn die Pein sich stellet ein,
     When anguish presents itself
seine Liebe macht zur Freuden
     his love turns into joy
auch das bittre Leiden.
     even bitter passion.


_______________________________________________________________
COMPOSED: May 6, 1725 (Leipzig) for Rogate (the 5th Sunday after Easter)
LIBRETTIST: Christiane Mariane von Ziegler; Mvt. 1. John 16:24; Mvt. 5. John 16:33; Mvt. 7. Heinrich Müller, stanza 9 of Selig ist die Seele (1659)
TRANSLATION: Tobin Schmuck, 2012 © Bach Vespers at Holy Trinity Lutheran Church, NYC
Use by permission only please.  office@bachvespersnyc.org

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