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Cantata BWV 56
Ich will den Kreuzstab gerne tragen
Emblemata

Source:

"Allegory of Navigation with a Cross-Staff", painted about 1555-1560, presented at the major Veronese exhibition at the National Gallery in London (April 2014)

Association:

Cantata BWV 56: Mvt. 1: Aria [Bass]

Ich will den Kreuzstab gerne tragen,
I would gladly bear the cross-beam,
Er kömmt von Gottes lieber Hand,
it comes from God's dear hand,
Der führet mich nach meinen Plagen
it leads me after my troubles
Zu Gott, in das gelobte Land.
to God, in the promised land.
Da leg ich den Kummer auf einmal ins Grab,
There I shall finally lay my anxiety in the grave,
Da wischt mir die Tränen mein Heiland selbst ab.
there my Saviour himself will wipe away my tears.

English translation by Francis Browne (January 2008)

Description:

We recently debated on BCW the question of the symbolism of the word "Kreuzstab" in BWV 56. is it simply a cross, perhaps resonating with the structure of masts? Or does it relate to the more esoteric definition of "Kreuzstab" as a nautical instrument like a cross, thus an allegorical guide to the "navigatio vitae" which dominates this Cantata?

By chance today I went to the major Veronese exhibition at the National Gallery in London. You will find attached "Allegory of Navigation with a Cross-Staff", painted about 1555-1560. It rather confirms the latter approach to the meaning of the iconography of BWV 56: originally painted for St Mark's Library in Venice, this work would have been widely known. It is now (usually) in Los Angeles County Museum of Art.

"Against a backdrop of classical ruins, an ancient philosopher clutches a cross-shaped staff (known as a ballestriglia), an instrument used to determine geographical latitude by measuring the altitude (the angle above the horizon) of the sun and stars".

 

Written and contributed by Peter Smaill (April 2014)

Cantata BWV 56: Details
Recordings: Complete:
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Discussions:
Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4
Articles:
Program Notes to Ich will den Kreuzstab gerne tragen, BWV 56 [S. Burton] | BWV 56 “Ich will den Xstab gerne tragen” - An Attempt to Trace the Symbols and Other Poetic Expressions in the Libretto Back to Their Original Sources [T. Braatz]
German-1 | German-2 | German-6 | NBA Text | Translations: Catalan-1 | Chinese-2 | Dutch-1 | Dutch-4 | Dutch-6 | English-1 | English-3I | English-3P | English-6 | English-10 | French-4 | French-6 | Hebrew-2 | Hebrew-3 | Hungarian-1 | Indonesian-1 | Italian-2 | Russian-1 | Russisn-3 | Spanish-2 | Spanish-7 | Emblemata
Chorale Text:
Du, o schönes Weltgebäude

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
Discussions: Texts | Translations: Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4

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Last update: żApril 9, 2014 ż10:57:23