BWV 120b Gott, man lobet dich in der Stille

Bicentennial of the Augsburg Confession.

Christian Friedrich Henrici (Picander), Ernst-Schertzhaffte und Satyrische Gedichte, Teil III (Leipzig, 1732); Reprint: Sicul,Annales Lipsienses, Sectio XXXVIII, 1731, and Das Jubilierende Leipzig, 1731; Facs: Neumann T, p. 333.

1. Ps. 65:2; 6. Martin Luther, verse 3 of "Komm, Heiliger Geist, Heere Gott," 1524 (Wackernagel, I, #199).

26 June 1730, Leipzig; Parody: 1, 2, 4 <--- BWV 120/1, 2, 4.


On the Second Day of the Festival

1. (Arioso) [Dictum]

God, we praise thee now in the stillness of Zion, and thee we pay our solemn pledges.

2. Aria

Pay, O Zion, all thy pledges,
Pay the vows to God on high.(1)
Now thy hope doth serve thee well,
Source and fountains are still pure;
His steadfastness
Builds and lays a new foundation
For his name's great fame and house.

    Da Capo.

3. Recit.

Ah! Thou the city loved of God,
May God by thee yet further stand,
Thy hearth and altar and thy fire
Are in great danger and oppressed;
So for thine own sake watch with care.
Be firm in faith and waver not
As though a mere broken reed, as though a fading light.
Maintain the hope of thy confession:
God is steadfast
Who sealed it with his pledge.

4. Aria

True and faithful,
Never falt'ring in distress,
True in living, true in death,
Must be real Christians always,
That they after welcome dying
Of true life the crown inherit.

    Da Capo.

5. Recit.

Rise up, thou sacred congregation,(2)
Now act true to thy word
And hasten more and more
To kindness, to the works of goodness,
That all who now oppose thee
Thy covenant
And its true word's foundation firm
In service of the town may witness.

6. Chorale

O thou holy flame, comfort sweet,
Now help us, joyful and content,
To bide forever in thy service,
That sadness may not disperse us;
O Lord, through thy might us prepare;
Make strong the weakness of our flesh,
That we here gallantly struggle
Through death and life to reach thy presence.
Alleluia, alleluia.


1. This text is closer than that of BWV 120/2 to the sense of the first movement.

2. Gemeinde = 'community' or 'congregation.' In Bach's Leipzig the two were virtually one. The last line of this recitative contains the word Gemeinschaft 'community.' For metrical reasons it is here translated with "town."


© Copyright  Z. Philip Ambrose


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