BWV 208 Was mir behagt, ist nur die muntre Jagd!
Birthday of Prince Christian von Sachsen-Weißenfels (23 February).
Salomo Franck, Geist- und Weltlicher Poesien Zweyter Theil (Jena 1716); Facs: Neumann T, p. 288.
1713, near Weißenfels; Parody: ---> BWV 208a; 7 --- BWV 68/4; 13 ---> BWV 68/2 and Cantata V/5; 15 ---> BWV 149/1 and Cantata V/7.
BG 29; NBA I/35.
Diana (S1), Endymion (T), Pan (B), Pales(1)(S2)
1. Recit. (S1) Diana
My only joy
2. Aria (S1) Diana
Hunting is the gods' true pleasure,
Yield now from Diana's course!
3. Recit. (T) Endymion
What, fairest goddess? What?
4. Aria (T) Endymion
Wouldst thou then no more take pleasure
At our leisure,
Joy and love in bonds have plied.
5. Recit. (S1, T) Diana, Endymion
6. Recit. (B) Pan
I, who am wont a god
7. Aria (B) Pan
A prince is his own country's Pan!
8. Recit. (S2) Pales
Shall then the offering of Pales be the last?
9. Aria (S2) Pales
Sheep may ever graze securely
May one rest and peace discover
And what nations blissful makes.
10. Recit. (S1) Diana
Then join the song
11. Chorus (S, A, T, B) All Four
Live, O sun of this our earth now,
While the woodlands change with verdure,
Live, O sun of this our earth now.
12. Aria (S1, T) Diana, Endymion
Enchant ye us both now,
Prince Christian nurture
On loveliest roses and free of all sadness.
13. Aria (S2) Pales
While the herds all woolly-coated
14. Aria (B) Pan
Ye pastures and meadows,
15. Chorus (S, A, T, B)
Ye loveliest glances, ye hours delighted,
Long life to Prince Christian! May he ever know
How hearts are contented,
How sadness defeated!
[May charm now embrace them, may fortune now serve them,
1. Pales was a shepherd divinity, honored on April 21 in the Parilia or Palilia, the feast of the founding of Rome (cf. Ovid, Fasti 4. 721ff.). Salomo Franck seems to have taken notice of this by referring to Christian's birthday celebration as his Ursprungsfest in Movement 5. See also BWV 208a, footnote 1.
2. This alludes to Endymion's everlasting sleep. Cf. Apollodorus, I. 56 and Pausanias, 5. 1. 5.
3. In the OP the name Christian is crossed out and replaced by Ernst August for a performance of this cantata at the Weimar Court, probably in 1716.
4. See footnote 1, above on the Parilia of Rome.
5. Pales means that hers will not be the last offering to Christian, for she will stir the very fields to pay him honor also. She does not address the fields, however, until Movement 13. In 14 Pan also calls upon the fields to bless Christian.
6. Dione is the consort of Zeus of Dodona, the mother of Aphrodite and sometimes identified with Aphrodite herself. Cf. Homer, Iliad 5. 370 and Ovid, Amores I. 14. 33.
7. In brackets is the supplemental verse added in the OP, perhaps for a performance for Christian and his wife.
© Copyright Z. Philip Ambrose