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Cantata BWV 185
Barmherziges Herze der ewigen Liebe
English Translation in Interlinear Format
Cantata BWV 185 - Merciful heart of eternal love

Event: Solo Cantata for the 4th Sunday after Trinity
Readings: Epistle: Romans 8: 18-23; Gospel: Luke 6: 36-42
Text: 1-5 Salomo Franck; 6: Johann Agricola 1529

Biblical quotations are in green font, chorale quotations in purple font

1

Aria (Duetto e Choral) [Soprano, Tenor]

Oboe (o, Tromba), Continuo

Barmherziges Herze der ewigen Liebe,
Merciful heart of eternal love,
Errege, bewege mein Herze durch dich;
may my heart be stirred and moved by you;
Damit ich Erbarmen und Gütigkeit übe,
so that I may act constantly with pity and goodness.
O Flamme der Liebe, zerschmelze du mich!
O flame of love, melt me completely!

2

Recitative [Alto]

Violino I/II, Viola, Fagotto, Continuo

Ihr Herzen, die ihr euch
You hearts , who have
In Stein und Fels verkehret,
turned yourselves into stone and rock,
Zerfließt und werdet weich,
dissolve and become soft,
Erwägt, was euch der Heiland lehret,
consider what your Saviour is teaching you,
Übt, übt Barmherzigkeit
act, act constantly with compassion
Und sucht noch auf der Erden
and seek while you are still on earth
Dem Vater gleich zu werden!
to become like your Father!
Ach! greifet nicht durch das verbotne Richten
Ah! by making judgements that are forbidden do not bring

Dem Allerhöchsten ins Gericht,
the Almighy into court against you,
Sonst wird sein Eifer euch zernichten.
or else his zeal will destroy you.
Vergebt, so wird euch auch vergeben;
Forgive so that you may also be forgiven;
Gebt, gebt in diesem Leben;
give, give in this life,
Macht euch ein Kapital,
build up some capital
Das dort einmal
so that one day in heaven
Gott wiederzahlt mit reichen Interessen;
God will repay you with abundant interest;
Denn wie ihr messt, wird man euch wieder messen.
for as you measure, so will you be measured.

3

Aria [Alto]

Oboe, Violino I/II, Viola, Fagotto, Continuo

Sei bemüht in dieser Zeit,
Make every effort in this life
Seele, reichlich auszustreuen,
soul, to scatter your seed generously
Soll die Ernte dich erfreuen
so that the harvest may make you rejoice
In der reichen Ewigkeit,
in the riches of eternity
Wo, wer Gutes ausgesäet,
where whoever has sown goodness
Fröhlich nach den Garben gehet
.
joyfully gathers the sheaves.

4

Recitative ]Bass]

Fagotto, Continuo

Die Eigenliebe schmeichelt sich!
Selfishness flatters itself!
Bestrebe dich,
Strive
Erst deinen Balken auszuziehen,
first to pull out the beam in your eye,
Denn magst du dich um Splitter auch bemühen,
then you can worry about the splinter
Die in des Nächsten Augen sein.
that is in your neighbourís eye.
Ist gleich dein Nächster nicht vollkommen rein,
Your neighbour may well not be perfectly pure,
So wisse, dass auch du kein Engel,
but just remember : youíre no angel either.
Verbessre deine Mängel!
Make better your own failings
Wie kann ein Blinder mit dem andern
How can one blind man with another
Doch recht und richtig wandern?
walk along the straight and narrow?
Wie, fallen sie zu ihrem Leide
Donít they do themselves harm
Nicht in die Gruben alle beide?
and both falll into the ditch?

5

Aria [Bass]

Fagotto, Continuo

Das ist der Christen Kunst:
This is the Christianís art :
Nur Gott und sich erkennen,
to know only God and himself
Von wahrer Liebe brennen,
to be on fire with true love,
Nicht unzulässig richten,
not to make uncalled for judgements,
Noch fremdes Tun vernichten,
not to destroy what others do,
Des Nächsten nicht vergessen,
not to forget his neig bour,
Mit reichem Maße messen:
to measure with generous measure:
Das macht bei Gott und Menschen Gunst,
this makes goodwill with God and men,
Das ist der Christen Kunst.
this is the Christianís art.

6

Chorale [S, A, T, B]

Oboe (Tromba) col Soprano, Violino II coll'Alto, Viola col Tenore, Fagotto col Basso, Violino I, Continuo

Ich ruf zu dir, Herr Jesu Christ,
I call to you, Lord Jesus Christ,
Ich bitt, erhör mein Klagen,
I pray, hear my lamentation,
Verleih mir Gnad zu dieser Frist,
bestow your grace on me at this time,
Laß mich doch nicht verzagen;
do not let me despair;
Den rechten Glauben, Herr, ich mein,
I think that I have the right faith, Lord,
Den wollest du mir geben,
which you wanted to give me,
Dir zu leben,
to live for you,
Meinm Nächsten nütz zu sein,
to be useful to my neighbour,
Dein Wort zu halten eben.
to keep your word properly.

Note on the text

This cantata was written for the fourth Sunday after Trinity and first performed at Weimar on 14 July 1715, repeated the following year on 5 July, and revised for a Leipzig performance on 20 June 1723. The text, by Salomo Franck, stems from the Gospel for the day, St Luke 6: 36-42, with its admonition, `Judge not, and ye shall not be judged' (v. 37), and its advice to the hypocrite, `Cast out first the beam out of thine own eye, and then shalt thou see clearly to pull out the mote that is in thy brother's eye' (v. 42). These verses are paraphrased in the cantata's two recitatives, the first (no. 2) for alto with string accompaniment, the second (no. 4) for bass with continuo support.

The chorale melody heard in the opening duet returns to end the work, set in four-part harmony to the first strophe of Johann Agricola's hymn (1529). This hymn was set by Bach in its entirety in BWV 177, where accordingly a translation may be found.

(Information from Oxford Composer Companion)

--

This Translation in Parallel Format

English Translation by Francis Browne (May 2005)
Contributed by Francis Browne (May 2005)

Cantata BWV 185: Details & Complete Recordings | Recordings of Individual Movements | Discussions: Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3
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Last update: żAugust 4, 2012 ż17:08:51