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Cantata BWV 63
Christen, ätzet diesen Tag
English Translation in Parallel Format
Cantata BWV 63 - Christians, engrave this day

Event: Cantata for Christmas Day
Readings: Epistle: Titus 2: 11-14 / Isaiah 9: 2-7; Gospel: Luke 2: 1-14
Text: Johann Michael Heineccius

Biblical quotations in green font, chorales in purple

 

Original German Text

 

English Translation

1

Coro

1

Chorus [S, A, T, B]

 

Tromba I-IV, Timpani, Oboe I-III, Fagotto, Violino I/II, Viola, Continuo

 

Christen, ätzet diesen Tag
In Metall und Marmorsteine!
Kommt und eilt mit mir zur Krippen
Und erweist mit frohen Lippen
Euren Dank und eure Pflicht;
Denn der Strahl, so da einbricht,
Zeigt sich euch zum Gnadenscheine.

 

Christians, engrave this day
in metal and marble stone !
Come and hurry with me to the manger
and prove with happy lips
your thanks and your duty;
for the ray that there breaks in
is shown to you as the light of grace.

       

2

Recitativo A

2

Recitative [Alto]

 

Violino I/II, Viola, Continu

 

O selger Tag! o ungemeines Heute,
An dem das Heil der Welt,
Der Schilo, den Gott schon im Paradies
Dem menschlichen Geschlecht verhieß,
Nunmehro sich vollkommen dargestellt
Und suchet Israel von der Gefangenschaft und Sklavenketten
Des Satans zu erretten.
Du liebster Gott, was sind wir arme doch?
Ein abgefallnes Volk, so dich verlassen;
Und dennoch willst du uns nicht hassen;
Denn eh wir sollen noch nach dem Verdienst zu Boden liegen,
Eh muss die Gottheit sich bequemen,
Die menschliche Natur an sich zu nehmen
Und auf der Erden
Im Hirtenstall zu einem Kinde werden.
O unbegreifliches, doch seliges Verfügen!

 

Oh blessed day! Oh extraordinary today'
on which the saviour of the world,
the Schilo [Messiah], whom God already in paradise
promised to the human race,
now reveals himself fully
and seeks from the imprisonment and slave chains
of Satan to rescue Israel.
Dear God, what are we then in our wretchedness?
A fallen people, who forsake you;
and nevertheless you do not choose to hate us;
for before we should lie on the earth according to our deserts,
before that the deity must condescend
to take human nature upon himself
and on the earth
in the shepherds' stall to become a child.
Oh incomprehensible but blessed decree!

       

3

Aria (Duetto) S B

3

Aria (Duet) [Soprano, Bass]

 

Oboe solo, Continuo

 

Gott, du hast es wohl gefüget,
Was uns itzo widerfährt.
Drum lasst uns auf ihn stets trauen
Und auf seine Gnade bauen,
Denn er hat uns dies beschert,
Was uns ewig nun vergnüget.

 

God, you have well ordained
what now happens to us.
Therefore let us always trust in him
and build on his grace,
for he has bestowed on us
what delights us now and for ever.

       

4

Recitativo T

4

Recitative [Tenor]

 

Continuo

 

So kehret sich nun heut
Das bange Leid,
Mit welchem Israel geängstet und beladen,
In lauter Heil und Gnaden.
Der Löw aus Davids Stamme ist erschienen,
Sein Bogen ist gespannt, das Schwert ist schon gewetzt,
Womit er uns in vor'ge Freiheit setzt.

 

In this way now today is transformed
the anxious suffering
with which Israel was distresed and burdened
into pure salvation and grace.
The lion from the stock of David has appeared,
his bow is stretched, his sword is already sharpened,
with which he places us in our former freedom.

       

5

Aria (Duetto) A T

5

Aria (Duet) [Alto, Tenor]

 

Violino I/II, Viola, Continuo

 

Ruft und fleht den Himmel an,
Kommt, ihr Christen, kommt zum Reihen,
Ihr sollt euch ob dem erfreuen,
Was Gott hat anheut getan!
Da uns seine Huld verpfleget
Und mit so viel Heil beleget,
Dass man nicht g'nug danken kann.

 

Call and implore heaven,
come, you Christians, come into the ranks,
you should rejoice on account of that
which God has done today!
since his graciousness maintains us
and endows us with such great salvation
that sufficient thanks cannot be given.

       

6

Recitativo B

6

Recitative [Bass]

 

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

 

Verdoppelt euch demnach, ihr heißen Andachtsflammen,
Und schlagt in Demut brünstiglich zusammen!
Steigt fröhlich himmelan
Und danket Gott vor dies, was er getan!

 

For this reason be redoubled, you hot flames of devotion,
and strike in humility ardently together!
Mount joyfully to heaven
and thank God for what he has done!

       

7

Coro

7

Chorus [S, A, T, B]

 

Tromba I-IV, Timpani, Oboe I-III, Fagotto, Violino I/II, Viola, Continuo

 

Höchster, schau in Gnaden an
Diese Glut gebückter Seelen!
Laß den Dank, den wir dir bringen,
Angenehme vor dir klingen,
Laß uns stets in Segen gehn,
Aber niemals nicht geschehn,
Dass uns der Satan möge quälen.

 

Highest, look with grace on
this ardour of souls who bow [in worship].
Let the thanks, which we bring you,
resound pleasingly before you,
Let us always go with your blessing

but never let it happen
that Satan may torment us.

       

This Translation in Interlinear Format

English Translation by Francis Browne (March 2002)

Contributed by Francis Browne (February 2009)

Cantata BWV 63: Details & Complete Recordings | Recordings of Individual Movements | Discussions: Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3
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Last update: ýMarch 20, 2012 ý14:38:14