BWV 134a Die Zeit, die Tag und Jahre macht

New Year's Congratulations for the Princely House of Anhalt-Cöthen.

Adapted from Christian Friedrich Hunold (Menantes), Auserlesene und theils noch nie gedruckte Gedichte..., 11.-20. Stück (Halle, 1719); Facs: Neumann T, p. 267.

1 January 1719, Cöthen; Parody: 1-4, 7, 8 ---> BWV 134.

BG 29 (incomplete); NBA I/35.


[Serenata](1)

Divine Providence (A), Time (T)

1. Recit. (T, A) Time, Divine Providence

(Time)
Now time, which day and year doth make,
Hath Anhalt many hours of blessing
And even now hath new salvation brought.

(Divine Providence)
O noble time, with God's own grace united!

2. Aria (T) Time

Up, mortal ones, let now your triumph be sounding;
Upon you now doth a new light divine shine!
With mercy is heaven now crowning the ages,
Up, spirits, ye must now a sacrifice offer
And pay to the Highest your duty with thanks!

3. Recit. (T, A) Time, Divine Providence

(Time)
As soon thou didst the stars' grace hold,
O much admiréd princely house,
Did I bring forth dear Leopold.(2)
To thy good health, to his great fame
Have I him many years now favored
And him to those a new year added.
I still adorn this godly house,
Bedecking Anhalts princely heaven
With fresh new light and radiant beams of grace;
Still doth all dearth these borders widely shun;
Still fleeth all deathly tumult;
Still bloometh here the golden age:
So praise then God on high for his good will!

(Divine Providence)
The Highest's fame is to the magnet like,
When from above more strength to it it draweth.
For this must all wise princes flourish
To make a land in fortune blest.
Thee hath, O Time, for more prosperity
Unto this house the Lord of ages chos'n.

(Time)
What do I lack in gifts of favor?

(Divine Providence)
Still greater ones have I to offer.

(Time)
My fame is now already rare.

(Divine Providence)
To God's renown will it yet greater be.

4. Aria (A, T) Divine Providence, Time

(Divine Providence, Time)
                             triumph           soon coming
Now quarrel, now {       } the {       } ages
                             glory               earlier
With blessing for this most illustrious house.
This friendly contention all hearts now bestirreth

(Time)
To strike up the lyres,

(Divine Providence)
to combat,

(Time)
to jesting,

(Both)
And strive to the glory of Almighty God.

5. Recit. (A, T) Divine Providence, Time

(Divine Providence)
Consider, though, O happy land,
How much I thee in this own age have given.
In Leopold thou hast a bond of grace.
Behold his Lady's wisdom bright,
Behold the Prince's life so noble,
Behold his daughter's crown of grace,
All that his house no splendor lack
And thou no timely good should need.
If I thy future strength must ready,
Then gain thou from the starry pole
By thine appeal their lofty princely weal!
Come, Anhalt, pray for greater years and ages!

(Time)
Ah! Pray for this great bliss;
For lacking God and them
I would not for a moment's time
For thee contented be.
Yes, Anhalt, yes, thou bendest now the knee,
Thine ardent wishes join the plea.
But yet, O kindly destiny!
God tends himself to these illustrious spirits,
And to this realm's most virtuous candles,(3)
Which burn for him in ardent worship fair.
Because God doth so love their warmth,
There comes to them a priceless store of wealth,
And to this land much temporal success.

6. Aria (A) Divine Providence

The ages' Lord such store of happy moments,
Thou godly house, to thee so long hath dealt.

    For in that harmony of spirits
    Who God their shield and strength have chosen,
    Is heaven's bliss so glad to join its voice.

7. Recit. (T, A) Time, Divine Providence

(Time)
Help, Master, help that now all mortals praise me
And promise this world-famous house
No evil, only golden ages.
Come, pour o'er them the streams of blessedness!
Yea, through my aid may dearest Leopold,
To many thousands' health and joy,
Who here beneath his grace are dwelling,
Until grey age thy favor hold!
Enliven this his godly breast!
Let to these most illustrious persons,
Whom thou to thine own praise didst choose,
On whom till now thy gracious light shone brightly,
In nought but full prosperity
This fairest age yet many years do service!
Renew, O Lord, with ev'ry season's change
Upon them thy good faith and love!

(Divine Providence)
The Master's grace is ev'ry morning new.
Now shall his care, his Spirit's special grace,
Around such princes hover
Who in the Prince of Life are living.

8. Chorus [Aria] (T, A, and S, A, T, B) Time, Divine Providence

(Time)
Give pleasure terrestrial,

    (Divine Providence)
    give gladness celestial,

(Tutti)
O fortunate ages, bring joy to this house!

(Divine Providence, Time)
'Tis right that with these most illustrious spirits
The mercy
{        } of heaven should choose to find dwelling;
The blessing

(Tutti)
Their fortune, their long life, let ev'ryone cry!


1. This title is found in the PT.

2. Twice in this cantata, here and in movement 7, hold is rhymed with Leopold. Hold 'gracious, favoring' is cognate with Huld 'grace, favor.' Perhaps the rhyme calls attention to the etymology of Leopold 'bold for the people.' The rhyme would also have suited the name of Hunold himself, whose pseudonym Menantes looks as though it were from Greek meinein 'to wait, abide, stand firm.'

3. The 'candles of virtue' are the members of the noble house.


© Copyright  Z. Philip Ambrose


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