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 3                The Adoration of the Shepherds

24. Chorus 

Herrscher des Himmels, erhöre das Lallen, 
laß dir die matten Gesänge gefallen, 
wenn dich dein Zion mit Psalmen erhöht!
Höre der Herzen frohlockendes Preisen, 
wenn wir dir itzo die Ehrfurcht erweisen, 
weil unsre Wohlfahrt befestiget steht!
Lord of heaven, hear our stuttering tones, 
let the feeble songs be pleasing to you,
when your Zion exalts you with psalms!
Hear the jubilant praise of our hearts
when we show our reverence to you, 
because our prosperity is assured!

26. Chorus     Text: St Luke 2: v 15 (cont.) 

“Lasset uns nun gehen gen Bethlehem 
und die Geschichte sehen, die da geschehen ist, 
die uns der Herr, der Herr kundgetan hat.” 
  “Let us now go even unto Bethlehem 
and see this thing which is come to pass, 
which the Lord has made known to us.”

28. Chorale     Text: Martin Luther, 1524

Dies hat er alles uns getan,
sein groß Lieb zu zeigen an;
des freu sich alle Christenheit,
und dank ihm des in Ewigkeit.
He has done all this for us
to show his great love:
Let all Christendom be joyful
and give eternal thanks for this.
Lord have mercy!

33. Chorale     Text: Paul Gerhardt, 1653

Ich will dich mit Fleiß bewahren,
ich will dir leben hier,
dir will ich abfahren,
mit dir will ich endlich schweben,
voller Freud, ohne Zeit,
dort im andern Leben.
I will keep you diligently,
I will live to you,
I will depart to you, 
I will soar with you eternally,
joyful, timeless,
there in another life.

35. Chorale     Text: Christoph Runge, 1653

Seid froh dieweil, seid froh dieweil, daß euer Heil,
ist hie ein Gott und auch ein Mensch geboren,
der welcher ist, der Herr und Christ, in David’s Stadt, von vielen auserkoren.
Rejoice now, rejoice now, that your saviour 
is born here as God and man,
He, who is the Lord and Christ in David's city, is the chosen one of many.


The opening chorus from Part 3 (number 24) is repeated at this point.