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Cantata No.1 Wie schön leuchtet der Morgenstern (BWV 1) (Vocal Score)
Bach, Johann Sebastian
J S Bach Cantata No. 1 (BWV 1) Vocal Score
Wie schön leuchtet der Morgenstern | How bright and fair the morning star: Cantata for the Feast of Annunciation Day
Urtext of the New Bach Edition
Original German text with English singing translation
Idiomatic and straightforward piano reduction
The cantata “ Wie schön leuchtet der Morgenstern” BWV 1 was written for 25 March 1725, when the Feast of the Annunciation of the Blessed Mary coincided with Palm Sunday. It forms the conclusion of Bach’s cantata cycle of 1724/25.
The anonymous librettist retained the outer verses 1 and 7 of Philipp Nicolai’s text (1599) which is assigned to the feast of Epiphany according to old tradition but was also sung at the Annunciation of the Blessed Mary. Verses 2 to 6 form the basis for the tenor and bass recitatives and the soprano and tenor arias.
Bach’s composition has a particularly festive brilliance with his use of 2 horns, 2 oboes da caccia and the two concertante solo violins. The violins’ lively figurations clearly reflect an image of the shining morning star.
- 1. (Coro): Wie schön leuchtet der Morgenstern / How bright and fair the morning star [Bach, Johann Sebastian]
- 2. Recitativo (Tenore): Du wahrer Gottes und Marien Sohn / Thou very son of God and Mary born [Bach, Johann Sebastian]
- Aria (Soprano): Erfüllet, ihr himmlischen, göttlichen Flammen / Come kindle, thou heavenly bright shining beacon [Bach, Johann Sebastian]
- 4. Recitativo (Basso): Ein ird'scher Glanz, ein lieblich Licht / Our hearts rejoice in no false light [Bach, Johann Sebastian]
- 5. Aria (Tenore): Unser Mund und Ton der Saiten / Harp and viol, voices blending [Bach, Johann Sebastian]
- 6. Choral: Wie bin ich doch so herzlich froh / What joy my Saviour brings to me [Bach, Johann Sebastian]