BWV 166 Wo gehest du hin?

Cantate (Fourth Sunday after Easter).

Poet unknown.

1. Jn. 16:5; 3. Bartholomäus Ringwaldt, verse 3 of "Herr Jesu Christ, ich weiß gar wohl," 1582 (Wackernagel, IV, #1473); 6. Ämilie Juliane von Schwarzburg-Rudolstadt, verse 1 of the hymn, 1686 (Fischer-Tümpel, V, #631).

7 May 1724, Leipzig.

BG 33; NBA I/12.



1. Aria [Dictum] (B)

Where to dost thou go?

2. Aria (T)

I'll be unto heaven mindful,
Nor the world my heart surrender.

    For in leaving or in staying
    I'll keep e'er that question near:
    Man, ah man, where dost thou go?

3. Chorale (S)

I pray to thee, Lord Jesus Christ,
Hold me to these reflections
And let me never any time
From this resolve to waver,
Instead to it be ever true
Until my soul shall leave its nest
And into heaven journey.

4. Recit. (B)

Like as the rain-sent water soon subsideth
And many hues are quickly faded,
So is it, too, with pleasures of the world,
For which so many men such admiration hold;
For though one now and then may see
That his most hoped-for fortune blooms,
Yet can still in the best conditions
Quite unannounced the final hour strike him.

5. Aria (A)

Let ev'ryone beware
When his good fortune laughs.

    On earth it is so easy
    That evening be quite other
    Than in the morning had been thought.(1)

6. Chorale (S, A, T, B)

Who knows how near to me mine end is?
Hence fleeth time, here cometh death;
Ah, with what promptness and what quickness
Can come to me my trial of death.
My God, I pray through Christ's own blood:
Allow but that my end be good!


1. Cf. Ecclus. 18:26.


© Copyright Z. Philip Ambrose


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