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Cantata BWV 101
Nimm von uns Herr, du treuer Gott
English Translation in Interlinear Format
Cantata BWV 101 - Take from us, you faithful God

Event: Chorale Cantata for the 10th Sunday after Trinity
Readings: Epistle: 1 Corinthians 12: 1-11; Gospel: Luke 19: 41-48
Text: Martin Moller (Mvts. 1, 3, 5, 7); Anon (Mvts. 2, 4, 6) [probably Christian Friedrich Henrici (Picander), according to A. Schweitzer]
Chorale Text: Nimm von uns, Herr, du treuer Gott

Biblical quotations in green font, chorales in purple


Chorus [S, A, T, B]

Corno col Soprano, Trombone I coll'Alto, Trombone II col Tenore, Trombone III col Basso, Flauto traverso, Oboe I/II, Taille, Violino I/II, Viola, Continuo

Nimm von uns Herr, du treuer Gott,
Take from us, Lord, you faithful God,
Die schwere Straf und große Not,
the heavy punishment and great distress
Die wir mit Sünden ohne Zahl
which for our countless sins we
Verdienet haben allzumal.
deserve to have all too often.
Behüt für Krieg und teurer Zeit,
Protect us from war and costly times,
Für Seuchen, Feur und großem Leid!
from plague, fire and great misfortune!


Aria [Tenor]

Violino solo, Continuo

Handle nicht nach deinen Rechten
Do not deal according to your justice
Mit uns bösen Sündenknechten,
with us evil slaves of sin,
Laß das Schwert der Feinde ruhn!
let the sword you use against enemies rest !
Höchster, höre unser Flehen,
Most high God, hear our entreaty,
Daß wir nicht durch sündlich Tun
so that through our sinful actions we may not
Wie Jerusalem vergehen!
pass away lke Jerusalem!


Chorale and Recitative [Soprano]


Ach! Herr Gott, durch die Treue dein
Ah Lord God, through your faithfulness
Wird unser Land in Frieden und Ruhe sein.
will our land be in peace and quiet.
Wenn uns ein Unglückswetter droht,
When a storm of misfortune threatens us,
So rufen wir,
then we cry aloud,
Barmherziger Gott, zu dir
merciful God, to you
In solcher Not:
in such distress:
Mit Trost und Rettung uns erschein!
with consolation and deliverance appear to us!
Du kannst dem feindlichen Zerstören
From destruction by our enemies you can
Durch deine Macht und Hilfe wehren.
protect us through your might and help.
Beweis an uns deine große Gnad
Show to us your great mercy
Und straf uns nicht auf frischer Tat,
and do not punish us in the very act,
Wenn unsre Füsse wanken wollten
if our feet are about to falter
Und wir aus Schwachheit straucheln sollten.
and we should stumble in our weakness.
Wohn uns mit deiner Güte bei
Stay with us with your kindness
Und gib, daß wir
and grant that we
Nur nach dem Guten streben,
may strive only after what is good,
Damit allhier
so that here
Und auch in jenem Leben
and also in the life to come
Dein Zorn und Grimm fern von uns sei.
your anger and rage may be far from us.


Aria [Bass]

Oboe I/II, Taille, Continuo

Warum willst du so zornig sein?
Why do you want to get so angry about this ?
Es schlagen deines Eifers Flammen
The flames of your passion
Schon über unserm Haupt zusammen.
already close over our heads.
Ach, stelle doch die Strafen ein
Ah, put an end to punishments
Und trag aus väterlicher Huld
and moved by a father's grace
Mit unserm schwachen Fleisch Geduld!
bear patiently with our weak flesh!


Chorale and Recitative [Tenor]


Die Sünd hat uns verderbet sehr.
Sin has done great harm to us.
So müssen auch die Frömmsten sagen
Even the most devout must admit this
Und mit betränten Augen klagen:
and with tearful eyes lament it:
Der Teufel plagt uns noch viel mehr.
the devil troubles us more and more.
Ja, dieser böse Geist,
Yes, this evil spirit,
Der schon von Anbeginn ein Mörder heißt, John 8 :44
who already from the beginning was known as a murderer,
Sucht uns um unser Heil zu bringen
seeks to take our salvation from us
Und als ein Löwe zu verschlingen. 1 Peter 5:8
and as a lion to devour us
Die Welt, auch unser Fleisch und Blut
The world also causes our own flesh and blood
Uns allezeit verführen tut.
to be led astray all the time.
Wir treffen hier auf dieser schmalen Bahn
Here on this narrow path we meet with
Sehr viel Hindernis im Guten an.
so many obstacles to what is good.
Solch Elend kennst du, Herr, allein:
You,Lord, alone know such misery.
Hilf, Helfer, hilf uns Schwachen,
Help, helper, help us who are weak,
Du kannst uns stärker machen!
you can make us stronger!
Ach, laß uns dir befohlen sein.
Ah let us be entrusted to you.


Aria [Soprano, Alto]

Flauto traverso, Oboe da caccia, Continuo

Gedenk an Jesu bittern Tod!
Think of Jesus' bitter death!
Nimm, Vater, deines Sohnes Schmerzen
Take, Father, the sorrows of your son
Und seiner Wunden Pein zu Herzen,
and the pain of his wounds to heart;
Die sind ja für die ganze Welt
they are indeed for the whole world
Die Zahlung und das Lösegeld;
the payment and the ransom.
Erzeig auch mir zu aller Zeit,
Show also to me at all times
Barmherzger Gott, Barmherzigkeit!
merciful God, mercy!
Ich seufze stets in meiner Not:
I sigh continually in my distress:
Gedenk an Jesu bittern Tod!
think of Jesus' bitter death!


Chorale [S, A, T, B]

Flauto traverso in octava e Corno e Oboe I e Violino I col Soprano, Oboe II e Trombone I e Violino II coll'Alto, Taille e Trombone II e Viola col Tenore, Trombone III col Basso, Continuo

Leit uns mit deiner rechten Hand
Guide us with your right hand
Und segne unser Stadt und Land;
and bless our city and land;
Gib uns allzeit dein heilges Wort,
give us always your holy word,
Behüt für's Teufels List und Mord;
protect us from the devil's treachery and murder;
Verleih ein selges Stündelein,
grant us a blessed last hour
Auf daß wir ewig bei dir sein.
so that we may be always with you.

Notes on the text

BWV 101 was written for the 10th Sunday after Trinity and .first performed on 13th August 1724 . It is a chorale cantata from Bach’s second cycle of Leipzig cantatas. As is usual in these cantatas the first and last stanzas of the chorale are used without alteration.. In the recitatives in movements 3 and 5 the texts of the chorale are also included unaltered but are expanded by comments . Stanzas 2,4 and 6 are each paraphrased to form an aria.

The text of the chorale used by Bach’s librettist in BWV 101 has a complicated origin. The unknown author of Bach’s text based his libretto on a hymn by Martin Moller written in 1584 in a time of pestilence. Moller in turn based his hymn on Aufer immensam,deus, aufer iram a Latin poem in sapphic stanzas published in Wittenberg in 1541, possibly written by Georg Klee or Johann Spangenberg. This text was set by Heinrich Schütz. (SWV 337 ,Op.9/32) This poem is in its turn apparently a reworking of a Late medieval Latin prose prayer, but I have not found that text.

The neolatin poem is skilfully written and besides Moller’s version there are other German translations from the sixteenth century. I have translated the Latin poem and Moller’s hymn so that it is possible to see the successive adaptation of the text.

The German is a free adaptation, almost a paraphrase , rather than a literal translation. In Leipzig Moller’s chorale was the primary hymn assigned to the 10th Sunday after Trinity . In the gospel for the day Jesus foretells the destruction of Jerusalem. At Vespers on this Sunday in Leipzig Josephus’ account of the fall of Jerusalem in AD70 was read. It was inevitable that Bach anonymous librettist should use this chorale and that Bach’s setting should strisuch a sombre tone.

Moller in 1584 was writing in a time of pestilence but in the opening stanza includes other misfortunes besides 'Seuchen' (plagues ) so that the hymn was listed in hymn books under the heading “In allgemeiner Not”. This general distress of the people is seen as deserved because of their sins.

The second stanza develops this notion of sin, acknowledging the people's guilt but asking God not to judge strictly according to our deserts but according to his mercy. In his adaptation of the second stanza Bach's librettist in general strives for greater elaboration: the aabbcc rhyme scheme is replace with aabcbc, bösen Knecht is changed to Sündenknecht, Herr to Höchster, unserer Tun to sündlich Tun. Imagery of 'das Schwert der Feinde' and the mention of Jerusalem make more explicit connection with the day's readings.

In the recitatives of the third and fifth movement the cantata text quotes one or two lines of the chorale – easily distinguishable by the use of the chorale tune in the accompaniment – and comments or expands on them, generally striving to make the words of the hymn more immediate and particular in application for those present eg when the chorale mentions “ Der Teufel plagt uns” the cantata text uses scriptural references to reinforce the danger posed by the devil.

Like the second movement aria the arias in movements 4 and 6 adapt the text of the corresponding stanzas in the chorale. In the dramatic bass aria the chorale's emphasis on human weakness is replaced by concentration on God's response to man's sinfulness : present experience of his anger and hope for his paternal forgiveness. In the aria for soprano and alto the chorale stanza is lengthened by the repetition of the opening line and the appeal made to God is given more immediacy by the replacement of the abstract mention of Baumherzigkeit with the striking phrase , Baumherziger Gott, Baumherzigkeit and the personal reference of the additional line :Ich seufze stets in meiner Not. The cantata text has developed from the generalising collective wir to the particularity of ich

As is customary the last stanza is used unaltered and sung by the choir. It seems A fitting closure to conclude with both a general appeal once more for “ Stadt und Land” and a more personal plea for help in the distress each must face alone, the hour of death.

Whatever its origins and literary merit,this text serves Bach as the basis for sombre, subtle music. Although BWV 101 may not have the immediate appeal of more popular cantatas, it repays attentive listening and close study.


This Translation in Parallel Format

English Translation by Francis Browne (June 2002; revised & notes October 2011)
Contributed by Francis Browne (June 2002, October 2011)

Cantata BWV 101: Details & Complete Recordings | Recordings of Individual Movements | Discussions: Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3
German Text | Translations: Catalan-1 | Dutch | English-1 | English-3I | English-3P | English-6 | French-1 | French-4 | French-6 | Hebrew-1 | Indonesian | Italian-4 | Russian-1 | Spanish-3 | Spanish-7
Chorale Text:
Nimm von uns, Herr, du treuer Gott

English Translations in Interlinear/Parallel Format (English-3): Sorted by BWV Number | Sorted by Title | Sorted by Event | Note on English Translations

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: Thursday, June 01, 2017 15:22