BWV 10 Meine Seel erhebt den Herren

The Visitation of the Blessed Virgin Mary (The Presentation of Christ in the Temple). 

Poet unknown. 

1. The German Magnificat (after Lk. 1: 46-55), verses 1 and 2; 2. based freely on verse 3; 3. based freely on verses 4 and 5; 4. based freely on verses 6 and 7; 5. verse 8; 6. based freely on verse 9; 7. verses 10 and 11 of the hymn. 

2 July 1724, Leipzig.

BG 1; NBA I/28.


1. Chorus [Verses 1 and 2] (S, A, T, B)

Now my soul exalts the Master(1),
And my heart finds in God gladness, in God my Savior;
For he hath on his lowly handmaid looked with favor.
Lo now, from this forth I shall be called blessed by posterity(2).

2. Aria (S)

Lord, thou who strong and mighty art,
God, thou whose name most holy is,
How wonderful are all thy labors!
Thou seest me in low estate,
Thou hast for me more blessings wrought
Than I could either know or number.

3. Recit. (T)

The Highest's gracious love new
Is ev'ry morning (3),
Enduring ever more and more
Amongst all those who here
To his salvation look
And him in honest fear do trust.
But he doth also wield great might
With his own arm
Upon all those who neither cold
Nor warm(4)
In faithfulness and love have lived.
Them, naked, bare and blind,
Them, filled with pride and haughtiness,
Shall his own hand like chaff disperse.

4. Aria (B) 

God casts the strong down from their seat
Headlong into the sulph'rous pit;
The humble hath God oft exalted,
That they like stars may stand in heaven.
The rich doth God leave void and bare,
The hungry filleth he with blessing,
That they upon his sea of grace
Have riches with abundance ever.

5. Duet [Verse 8] (A, T) with Instrum. Chorale

He's mindful of his mercy's grace
and gives to his servant Israel help.

6. Recit. (T)

What God of old to our forefathers
In promise and in word did give,
He hath fulfilled in all his works and deeds.
What God to Abraham,
When he to him into his tent did come,
Did prophesy and promise,
Is, when the time had been fulfilled, accomplished(5).
His seed must multiply as much
As ocean sands 
And stars of heaven have extended;
For born was then the Savior,
Eternal word was seen in flesh appearing,
That this the human race from death and ev'ry evil
And also Satan's slavery
Through purest love might be delivered;
So it remains: 
The word of God is full of grace and truth.

7. Chorale [Verses 10 and 11] (S, A, T, B)

Laud and praise be God the Father and the Son
And to the Holy Spirit,
As in the beginning was and ever is
Be from evermore to evermore. Amen.


1. Herren occurs only in the cantus firmus. The other parts have Herrn. Translate there "Lord" instead of "Lord God."

2. Kindeskind is literally "grandchild" or "posterity."

3. Cf. Lam. 3:22-23.

4. Cf. Rev. 3:15.

5. Cf. Gen. 12:2, 15:5, 17:4.


© Copyright  Z. Philip Ambrose


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