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Cantata BWV 82
Ich habe genug
Discussions - Part 8

Continue from Part 7

Discussion in the Week of November 11, 2012 (3nd round)

Ed Myskowski wrote (November 10, 2012):
Introduction to BWV 82 -- Ich habe genug / Ich habe genung

Weekly reminder:

This week we continue discussions of cantatas for feast days with BWV 82, the third of five works for the Feast of Purification of Mary. Details of text, commentary, recordings, and previous discussion for this week are accessible via:

The commentary by Julian Mincham, music examples included, is especially recommended as an introduction to listening.

The BWV 82 page has convenient access to notes from the Gardiner, Koopman (notes by Christoph Wolff), Suzuki, and Leusink (and more!) CD issues, via link beneath the cover photo.

There is no relevant chorale text and melody this week. Francis Browne has recently added new commentary on the cantata texts to his interlinear translations, linked via [English 3]. We can expect these to continue, not necessarily weekly. Douglas Cowling and William Hoffman are also posting relevant to chorales and other music for the Lutheran Church Year, accessible via LCY pages

I do not always take the time to check all links before posting. Special thanks to the folks who provide timely corrections.

Warren Prestidge wrote (November 10, 2012):
[To Ed Myskowski] I first heard this marvellous cantata about 50 years agao with Gerard Souzay. I have 2 recordings with Fischer-Dieskau, 1 with Souzay, 1 with Janet Baker and then by Leusink. It's glorious music, but I do have a huge problem, philosophically, with the whole longing-for-death thing, which is so frequent in cantata texts. It's one thing to affirm the hope of Christ and immortality, but quite another, in my opinion, to suggest that death itself is a good thing. I reject that. And I find it hard to believe that Bach found life in this world so wretched as to long for escape, too. But the music is sublime.

Julian Mincham wrote (November 12, 2012):
Warren Prestidge wrote:
< It's glorious music, but I do have a huge problem, philosophically, with the whole longing-for-death thing, which is so frequent in cantata texts. It's one thing to affirm the hope of Christ and immortality, but quite another, in my opinion, to suggest that death itself is a good thing. I reject that. And I find it hard to believe that Bach found life in this world so wretched as to long for escape, too. But the music is sublime. >
I agree. But Bach's attitude to death is enormously complex, an understanding of which comes only through a knowledge of the whole cycle of the cantatas rather than through any single one.

William Hoffman wrote (November 13, 2012):
[To Julian Mincham] Bach's complex attitude towards death also is found in the Passions and motets.

Matthew Laszewski wrote (November 13, 2012):
[To Julian Mincham] This cantata is serene. The depth and height of that serenity are nearly unparalleled. But, I do not understand the "longing-for-death thing" as an interpretation of its music or words. This is surely acceptance of suffering in life and freedom from the fear of death:"Oh death, where is thy sting; oh grave, where is thy victory?" is how Handel celebrated freedom from death in the Messiah.

Death is and was inevitable. For a follower of Christ, it no longer had to be feared; for the true believer - Simeon who saw Christ with his own eyes, it can be welcomed (when it comes because the redeemer, the messiah has come). Mortality is a fulfillment.

For the rest of us, death or life after death is no longer unknowable or hell, but glorious. To those who were surrounded by death, disease and dying everyday of their lives (as was JS Bach), this surely was "the good news" of the gospel. One is ready to die because one no longer need fear it. It will come, so let it.

The Canticle of Simeon (Nunc Dimittis - Now dimiss thy servant, i.e., Take me Lord) is the inspiration for this cantata and was for me and fellow 1960s teenage boys in high school at a Franciscan Friary where nightly at Compline we chanted the Canticle and the following responsory thrice: "In manus tuas, Domine, commendo spiritum meum" (Into thy hands, O Lord, I commend my spirit). We got the message. Immediately after we sang our bedtime prayer, "Before the ending of the day, Creator of the world we pray, that with thy wonted favor thou, wouldst be our guard and keeper now... etc. And finally, "Keep us oh Lord as the apple of thine eye, and protect us under the shadow of thy wings". We may not have been devout, but all saw that death like sleep is followed by an awakening; that we had protectors if we sought them and honored their precepts.

Death is not an ending if you say your prayers and are sorry for your sins. Jesus has shown us the way to accept all that god gives us – including misery, sorrow, joy and death.

That is powerful stuff and Bach created BWV82 and BWV199 and so very much more to celebrate, the way(penitence) and the truth(life everlasting) that grant us freedom the cycle life and death which ultimately allows us to accept it without reservations.

Julian Mincham wrote (November 13, 2012):
[To William Hoffman] True but there are more of the cantatas. Also I was slightly misquoting Schweitzer here (for those in the know) where he said that a full understanding of any one cantata is only possible with a knowledge and understanding of the entire canon. Quite something to say then, over 100 years ago!

Continue of this part of the discussion, see: Death in Bach Cantatas [General Topics]

William Hoffman wrote (November 13, 2012):
As Bach commenced his third cycle of cantatas for the church year in Leipzig, several important patterns and practices began to emerge in his myriad compositions and presentations for the Feast of Purification (Presentation) on February 2. Beginning in 1726, Bach consistently performed two-part or double cantatas before and after the main service sermon, using both new and older materials of his own and other composers. The works built on the <Nunc dimittis> chorale theme of Simeon's canticle become more intimate and affirmative, focusing on the light of salvation for the heathen in the Isaiah prophecy and <Nunc dimittis> found in the Johann Ludwig Bach Cantata JLB-9, "Mache dich auf, werde Licht" (Get thee up, become light) and in the consolation and contemplation of death in the new Sebastian Bach solo Cantata BWV 82, "Ich habe genug, Ich habe die Heiland" (I have enough, I have the Savior) of 1727.

While Bach's production of new service cantatas greatly diminished during 1726 and 1727, his interest grew in music for the special Feasts for Mary and the iconic Saint John the Baptist. Central to this was his use of an existing 1715 cycle of his Meiningen Court cousin Johann Ludwig Bach. Of special note are the two-part works for these fixed-date celebrations drawn from Psalm-like canticles of praise. Based on texts published initially in 1704 and again in 1726 in Rudolstadt and attributed to Court Prince Ernst Ludwig, these cantata sermons use appropriate direct Old and New Testament biblical quotations to introduce both parts, spirited and singing Italianate music, and popular closing hymns.

Sebastian introduced Ludwig Bach's Purification Cantata, JLB-9, "Mache dich auf, werde," on February 2, 1726. It is typical of these highly-accessible works that use basic poetic language rather than graphic pietistic references embedded in a series brief, non-da-capo arias and naturalistic, affirmative recitatives embracing all four voices. The BCW cover page (Recordings) is found at The scoring is: Soloists: Soprano, Alto, Tenor, Bass; 4-part Chorus; Orchestra: 2 oboes, strings (2 violins, viola), continuo.

Ludwig Bach Cantata JLB-9

The first documentary materials on the J. L. Bach Cantatas are found in one of the last Bach Gesellschaft Ausgabe (BGA), Volume 41, 1894, Alfred Dörffel editor, listing (pp. 175-76) musical incipits only of "17 Church Cantatas of Johann Ludwig Bach," in the manuscript hand of Sebastian, as preserved in the collection of son Emmanuel. "Mache dich auf, werde licht" appears as No. 9 under "Festo Purificationis," with the musical forces and the music of the first line of the bass solo in common time, a minor. Dörffel's "Preface" (pp. 36-37) includes Emmanuel Bach's letter (?to Frederick the Great's sister and Bach collector, Princess Anna Amelia) describing the cantata collection, as well as the thematic influence of Sebastian's "St. Matthew Passion" being composed in 1726 when he began presenting cousin Ludwig's cantatas in lieu of his own church-year music.

The next major reference to the Ludwig Bach cantatas is found in Karl Geiringer's <The Bach Family: Seven Generations of Creative Genius> (London George Allen & Unwin Ltd., 1954/59). A description of the opening bass scena aria in the "magnificent" cantata (p. 111) shows the opening tutti orchestra ritornello in three bars, with "Handelian vigor" followed by the entrance of the bass entering at bar 12 with "brilliant melismata, suddenly replaced by an adagio at the words `for, lo, darkness covers the earth.'" "The effective change in tempo is enhanced by the simultaneous harmonic descent from a to g" minor.

Old & New Testament Texts

The four movements of Part 1 of Cantata JLB-9 celebrate the Old Testament Messianic reading from the prophet Isaiah Chapter 60:1-3: "Arise, shine; for thy light is come, and the glory of the Lord is risen upon thee. (2) For, behold, the darkness shall cover the earth, and gross darkness the people: but the Lord shall arise upon thee, and his glory shall be seen upon thee. (3) And the Gentiles shall come to thy light, and kings to the brightness of thy rising [KJV)"

Here is the German text (Luther 1545], Isaiah 60:1-3, of Cantata JLB-9:

[Movement 1, opening bass aria] "Mache dich auf, werde licht! denn dein Licht kömmt, und die Herrlichkeit des HERRN geht auf über dir. [Recitative] (2) Denn siehe, Finsternis bedeckt das Erdreich und Dunkel die Völker; [aria] aber über dir geht auf der HERR, und seine Herrlichkeit erscheint über dir." [3:23]

[Mvt. 2, soprano-tenor duet] (3) "Und die Heiden werden in deinem Lichte wandeln und die Könige im Glanz, der über dir astufgeht." [1:28]

[Mvt. 3, alto recitative] "Siehe du, Verdüstert Aug', der Ewigkeiten Strahl? (See now, most darkened eye, this eternal ray). [1:31]

[Mvt. 4, soprano aria]: Weicht, ihr Schatten (Flee, ye shadows). [1:35]

Part 2 of Cantata JLB-9 Part 2 begins with the tenor aria singing the <Nunc dimittis> (Luke 2:29-32):
"Now Lord, let your servant depart/ According to your word in peace [29]./ For my eyes have seen the salvation [30]/ Which you have prepared before all nations [31],/ A light to enlighten the heathen/ And the glory of your people Israel [32]." [2:33]

[Mvt. 5, tenor aria]
Herr, nun lässest du deinen Diener
im Friede fahren, wie du gesagt hast; [29]
Denn meine Augen haben deinen Heiland gesehen [30]
welchen du bereitet hast vor allen Völkern, [31]
ein Licht, zu erleuchten die Heiden
und zum Preis deines Volks Israel. [32]

[Mvt. 6, alto aria] "Herr, dein Wort, das ist geschehen" (Lord, your word has been fulfilled) [2:28]

[Mvt. 7, SATB recitative] "Dein Reich ist ja den Menschen zubereitet" (Your kingdom, Lord, is meant for everyone) [1:51]

[Mvt. 8, Chorus] "Läß, Höchster, diensen Wunsch geschehen" (Let, Highest, this wish be granted), followed by four-part chorale with elaborate instrumental accompaniment:

Closing Justification Chorale

Stanza 5. Er ist der Weg, das Licht, die Pfort,
Die Wahrheit und das Leben,
Des Vaters Rat und ewigs Wort,
Den er uns hat gegeben
Zu einem Schutz, daß wir mit Trutz
An ihn fest sollen glauben,
Darum uns bald kein Macht noch G'walt
Aus seiner Hand wird rauben.

5. He is the way, the light, the gate,
the truth and the life,
the father's counsel and eternal Word,
that he has given to us as protection,
so that with bold confidence
we may believe firmly in him
and for this reason no force nor might
will snatch us from his hand.

Stanza 9. Mein Füßen ist dein heilges Wort
Ein brennende Luzerne,
Ein Licht, das mir den Weg weist fort;
So dieser Morgensterne
In uns aufgeht, so bald versteht
Der Mensch die hohen Gaben,
Die Gottes Geist den g'wiß verheißt,
Die Hoffnung darein haben.

9. For my feet your holy word
is a blazing lantern,
a light that shows me the way forward;
as this morning Star
rises upon us we understand
the great gifts
that God's spirit has certainly promised to us,
and in these we have our hope.

The chorale is "Durch Adams Fall ist ganz verderbt/ Menschlich Natur und Wesen, (Through Adam's fall human nature and character is completely corrupted); BCW, English translation Francis Browne,]. Lazarus Spengler 1524 text, with anonymous melody (Zahn 7549)is found in <Das Neu Leipzger Gesangbuch> of 1682 (NLGB) No. 229, under the heading "Cat/echism, Justification." It is the NLGB designated hymn for Quinquagesima Estomihi, as well as the 6th, 9th, 12th, 14th Sundays after Trinity.

Bach's text uses of "Durch Adams Fall" began in Weimar Cantata BWV 18 in with the closing plain chorale (S.8) in d/a minor Aeolian, for Sexagesima Sunday 1713/15. It may be Bach's first extant four-part chorale setting, according to Christoph Wolf (<Essays>, "On the Recopgnition of Bach and "the Bach Chorale": Eighteenth-Century Perspectives" [Cambridge MA: Harvard Univ. Press, 1991: 387). Also, Cantata BWV 109 closes (Mvt. 6) with a chorale chorus singing Stanza 8), also in d/a minor Aeolian, composed for the 21st Sunday after Trinity in 1723.

Bach's melody uses of ""Durch Adams Fall," all in a minor Aeolian, are found in the organ chorale preludes: BWV 637 in the Orgelbüchlein Collection (No. 76, Justification, c.1713), BWV 705 in the Miscellaneous Kirnberger Collection, and BWV 1101 in the Neumeister Collection (c.1700 ). The BCW notes that "BWV 705 not accepted by NBA, BWV Verzeichnis still lists it as `of doubtful authenticity'" (

JLB-9 Published Music & Recording

Here is the catalog listing for the published music:
Author Bach, Johann Ludwig, 1677-1731
Title Mache dich auf, werde licht. English & German
Mache dich auf, werde licht : Kantate zum Fest Mariae Reinigung (und fur die Adventszeit [textual references]): fur Soli (SATB), Chor (SATB), zwei Oboen, zwei Violinen, Viola, und Generalbass / Johann Ludwig Bach ; herausgegeben von Hermann Max ; [English version by Vernon and Jutta Wicker]
Publisher Neuhausen-Stuttgart : Hanssler-Verlag, c1984
Add Author Max, Hermann
Subject Cantatas, Sacred -- Scores
Note German and English words
Figured bass realized for organ and harpsichord
Edited from ms. score (in J.S. Bach's hand) (Mus. ms. autogr. P 397) and parts (Mus. ms. St. 314) in the Deutsche Staatsbibliothek Berlin
Duration: ca. 18:00
Pref. in German and English
Bibliography Includes bibliographical references
Series Stuttgarter Bach-Ausgaben. Serie A, Bach-Archiv. 1. Gruppe, Meininger Linie
Descript 1 score (56 p.); 30 cm
Music # HE 30.006/01 Hanssler-Verlag

The two-page Preface (pp. 5-6) of Hermann Max contain valuable source-critical information similar to the Neue Bach Ausgabe Kritischer Bericht (NBA KB, New Bach Edition Critical Commentary): historical-biographical, source transmission, poetic and biblical text sources, and the score in Sebastian Bach's hand as well as the parts set copied by Johann Hei, Wilhelm Friedemann, and Anna Magdalena Bach. The English translation of Linda Page includes the Emmanual Bach letter.

The recording, directed by Hermann Max, includes notes on Ludwig Bach and all four cantatas, by Barbara Schwendowius and Julia Rosemeyer as translated into English by E. D. Nichols and John Coombs. The recording information is: "Dormagener Jugendkantorei / Das Kleine Konzert; Soprano: Barbara Schlick; Alto: Mary Nichols; Tenor: Wilfried Jochens; Bass: Stephen Varcoe. Carus 83186 [c. 2006, 17:55; 67:15 total with JLB 5, 11, 8]; Recorded at Neanderkirche, Düsseldorf, Germany (Nov. 2-6, 1981)."

Ludwig Bach Cantata JLB-9 was the first of some 17 cyclic works Bach presented during the first year of his-two year third cycle that also provided other acceptable, traditional texts and appealing music. Later in 1726, Bach presented Ludwig's Cantata JLB-17, "Siehe, ich will meinen Engle senden" (Behold, I will my angel send) on the Feast of St. John, June 24, and Cantata JLB-13, "Der Herr wird ein neues im Lande erschaffen" (The Lord will create in a new land), on the Feast of the Visitation, July 2. There is no record of Bach presenting a cantata based on Rudolstadt text, "Ich habe mein König eingesetzt" (I have prepared for my king) on the Feast of Annunciation, March 25. For the Feast of St. Michael that fell on the 15th Sunday after Trinity, September 29, Bach the previous week had ceased to use Rudolstadt texts and instead turned to a Picander poem for Cantata BWV 19, "Es erhub sich ein Streit" (There arise a strife).

Cantata BWV 82, "Ich habe genug'

Ludwig Bach's Cantata JLB 9 stimulated a year later one of Sebastian's last solo cantatas in his third cycle, BWV 82, "Ich habe genug, Ich habe die Heiland" (I have enough, I have the Savior), on Monday, February 2, 1727, along with a reperformance of his first Leipzig Purification Cantata BWV 83, "Erfueuet Zeit im neuen Bunde" (Joyful time in the new stirring). Bach continued to present music motivated by the Purification Gospel reading of the <Nunc dimittis>.

While the new solo Cantata BWV 82 lacked a closing plain chorale, an occasional practice of Bach, it was compensated with settings of two <nunc dimittis> chorales found in Cantata BWV 83: the bass intonation of Luther's German setting of the original Latin antiphon (Psalm tone No. 8, B-Flat Major Mixolydian), "Herr, nun lässest du deinen Diener" (Lord, now let your servant), and the Luther German paraphrase hymn, "Mit Fried und Freud ich fahr dahin" (With Peace and Joy I journey therein), and the closing plain chorale in Dorian mode, Stanza 4, "Er ist das Heil und selig Licht" (He is salvation and blessed light).

Charles Francis wrote (November 13, 2012):
This week's cantata reminded me of an old video of mine that features a sequence of Bach-related photos taken in Eisenach and Leipzig (the baptismal font where Bach was christened, the church of his youth, the surviving door to his Leipzig apartment (!), etc.). I've put this online for anyone that is interested:

Some links to other selected videos are below:

As can be seen from the Bach Digital site, the performance parts of various versions of BWV 82 have survived. The key signature of the opening aria is worthy of comment: the ultimate version has a performance part marked 'Organo' in Bb minor so one imagines this wouldn't sound too good in meantone. A peculiarity is the cosmetic change in key signature occurring between the earliest and latest surviving performance parts - in the former, the explicit use of accidentals, while in the latter a change of key signature. I've no idea why this change was made - perhaps because Bach or a pupil initially transposed from some long-lost original?

With regard to the 'Organo' part of BWV 82 (4. Fassung), presumably in the hand of J. C. Altnickol, I didn't spot any out of range pedal notes that might be expected from, say, transposition from C minor to B flat minor. Does this mean that such notes were eliminated at some point or else corrected by Altnickol? I haven't had the opportunity to study the various BWV 82 versions in detail, but it would be interesting to see at which point the Cornet-Ton transpose was corrected to prevent out of range notes, assuming a low C occurs somewhere in the cammerton bass, that is.

Frits van Laeken Herbold wrote (January 17, 2013):
BCW: The most recorded Bach Cantata

Aryeh Oron wrote (September 15, 2011):
< The most recorded Bach Cantata is definitly Ich habe genug BWV 82 with 89 recordings. The cantata is usually sung by bass or baritone, but there are also versions for soprano, alto and tenor. The discography pages of this cantatas have been revised and updated. It is arranged chronologically, a page per a decade; the first recording was done in 1948 by Hans Hotter and the most recent by Andreas Scholl is from 2010.
If you have any correction, addition, etc., please inform me. >
Frits van Laeken Herbold (Brazil) writes:
Thanks for the update, Aryeh! Some corrections and remarks:

[69] Ton Koopman Plays Bach [O-5] (DVD). This is not a complete recording. It should be listed under "Individual movements". BTW: this version as recorded never existed, since it is the Soprano version "Recitative and Aria for Soprano from Anna Magdalena Notenbüchlein II" but with a bas soloist (Klaus Mertens!). The following recording [70] Fabio Biondi / Ian Bostridge (Tenor) has never been composed by Bach either. He sings the Soprano version with Flute in e-minor. But never mind. Bach always wins!

[no number] Houston Symphony Concert, Mar. 23, 1985: Works of Johann Sebastian Bach. Part 2 [C-1]; Cantata BWV 82 [],Texas Chamber Orchestra Sergiu Luca. This recording "hangs" between [35] and [36]

Since I hear Bach's cantatas every week chronologically for more than 40 years as a morning meditation, this year I am listening to Leipzig III (1726/1727) and at the same time reading the discussion material from the BCW. So, in this last week I have just heard BWV 58 (first performance Sunday after New Year 1727) and now BWV 82 (first performance Feast of Purification of Mary 1727).

The discussion material in the BCW concerning BWV 58 (with the exception of the always very balanced and not offending comments of Aryeh and some other members), focuses more than half the time on the "correct?" BC accompaniment of recitatives 2 (and 4). What an amazing exercise in useless verbal diarrhea! Such discursions go mostly like this: Thomas Braatz starts pointing out his (by now well known) opinion against what he calls the "Harnoncourt Doctrine" and preference for non HIP recordings (that I will not contest in any way), pushing the buttons of (mostly) Bradley Lehman and Neil Halliday and some other members (in this case also Johan van Veen and Hugo Saldias). In this case, for me the only valuable contribution here is from Bradley Lehman, who brings up the notion of "expectation", which is a very good point and allows many Bach fans as myself to enjoy mostly all cantata recordings from different times (from the 1940ies until today).

Now, interestingly, regarding the [4] Anthony Bernard / Hans Hotter recording of BWV 82 gets undivided (including mine) praise as one of the best recordiof this work in the bas versions BC A 169 a and d. Didn't the rather heavy organ (Chest organ? I believe we have a real church organ here!) bother anybody? No comments at all in the BCW. My opinion: this might be very close to the way Bach composed it (certainly with church organ accompaniment, since the original parts clearly list an (autograph) organo part, transposed and figured, for all movements! See KB of NBA I/28.1, page 84). With regard to playing all or part of the notation duration, I leave that to the specialists, since I enjoy both approaches. But again - this is a good example for the fact that part of the HIP / Non HIP discussion is a waste of time. Both Harnoncourt and Koopman (I can provide the specific citations if anybody is interested) say in their writings about their cantata performances: "of course we use a chest organ..". Not HIP at all!!! Rudolf Lutz (DVD cantata series) at least is honest enough to explain why he doesn't use the magnificent church organ of the Evangelic Church in Trogen, Switzerland, especially in cantatas with organ obligate parts: this organ is tuned to a'= 440 and his (historical) instruments are tuned to a'= 415. So he would have to play on the organ a half tone lower which he confesses is not feasible. Bach (and/or his organist) had to play the church organ at the main Leipzig churches (both "big" and "small" organs at the Thomas Church and the organ at the Nikolai Church today are still tuned to "chorton" after all the remodeling since Bach's years!) at a full tone lower, and that was not a problem, since he mostly transposed the organ parts before the performance. But he certainly would also be capable of playing a not transposed organ part "ad hoc" as some scholars suspect. BTW: whenever there are existing autograph organ parts, there is really no excuse to use a cembalo (some exceptions are documented, e.g. in the case of organ repairs).


Ich Habe Genug-----Soprano Version

David Jones wrote (January 9, 2014):
Can anyone recommend their favorite HIP performance of the soprano version of "Ich Habe Genug"? I heard Dessay's and was astonished by the music itself all over again, but knew I could do better both vocally and stylistically.


Continue on Part 9

Cantata BWV 82: Details
Recordings: Complete:
1900-1949 | 1950-1959 | 1960-1969 | 1970-1979 | 1980-1989 | 1990-1999 | 2000-2009 | 2010-2019 | Recitative and Aria for Soprano from Anna Magdalena Notenbüchlein | Individual Movements
Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4 | Part 5 | Part 6 | Part 7 | Part 8 | Part 9 | BWV 508-523 Anna Magdalena Notenbüchlein - General Discussions
Text, music and performative interpretation in Bach’s cantata Ich habe genug [U. Golomb] | Sellars Staging [U. Golomb] | The Need for Bach: A discussion of his life, Jauchzet Gott in Allen Landen, BWV 51 and Ich habe genung, BWV 82 [S. Burton]

Recordings & Discussions of Cantatas: Main Page | Cantatas BWV 1-50 | Cantatas BWV 51-100 | Cantatas BWV 101-150 | Cantatas BWV 151-200 | Cantatas BWV 201-224 | Cantatas BWV Anh | Order of Discussion
Discussions of General Topics: Cantatas & Other Vocal Works | Performance Practice | Radio, Concerts, Festivals, Recordings


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