J.S. Bach Weihnachts-Oratorium German Text Pronunciation

The sound files on this page are edited versions of files produced by Dr John Cavallaro, and recorded and edited by Dr John Pearson, to assist the singers of Princeton Pro Musica in rehearsals for a performance of the work in 2010. The German text is from the Bärenreiter edition of the work. The English translation of biblical passages is from the King James VI Authorised Version of 1611; the other English translations are by Mr Robert Minett of St Margaret's School, Aberdeen. The choir gratefully acknowledges the work of Dr Cavallaro, Mr Pearson and Mr Minett.

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These pages were produced by Aberdeen Bach Choir to help singers rehearsing for a performance of parts 1-4 on 8 December 2013 in St Machar's Cathedral, Aberdeen.

Part 2                The Annunciation to the Shepherds

12. Chorale     Text: Johann von Rist, 1641

Brich an, o schönes Morgenlicht, 
und laß den Himmel tagen!
Du Hirtenvolk, erschrecke nicht, 
weil dir die Engel sagen,
daß dieses schwache Knäbelein
soll unser Trost und Freude sein,
dazu den Satan zwingen
und letztlich Friede bringen!

Break, O beautiful morning light
And let the heaven dawn!
You shepherd folk, do not be afraid,
because the angels tell you
that this delicate infant
shall be our comfort and joy,
then vanquish Satan,
and finally bring peace!

17. Chorale    Text: Paul Gerhardt, 1667

Schaut hin, dort liegt im finstern Stall, 
des Herrschaft gehet überall!
Da Speise vormals such ein Rind,
da ruhet itzt der Jungfrau’n Kind.
  Look, there in the dark stable
lies the ruler of all!
Where cattle once sought food
now there lies the  virgin’s child.

21. Chorus     Text: St Luke 2: v 14

“Ehre sei Gott in der Höhe! Und Friede auf Erden und den Menschen ein Wohlgefallen.”

“Glory to God in the highest, and on Earth peace, goodwill toward men.”

23. Chorale     Text: Paul Gerhardt, 1656

Wir singen dir in deinem Heer,
aus aller Kraft Lob, Preis und Ehr,
daß du, o lang gewünschter Gast,
dich nunmehr eingestellet hast.

We sing to you in your host
with all our might, praise, glory and honour,
that you, O long awaited guest, 
have now appeared to us.