BWV 208a Was mir behagt, ist nur die muntre Jagd!

Frohlockender Götterstreit

Nameday of Augustus III, Elector of Saxony and King of Poland (3 August).

Revision by an unknown poet of the text of Salomo Franck (cf. BWV 208; Movements 8 and 12 are completely re-written); Text in manuscript; Facs and apograph: Neumann T, p. 462.

3 August 1740 or 1742, Leipzig; Parody <--- BWV 208.

NBA I/37, Krit. Bericht.



The English original follows below after this transcription of the manuscript, Newmann, p. 462-469:

FROLOCKENDER GOETTER-STREIT
bey dem allerhöchsten
Nahmens=Feste
des
Allerdurchlauchtigsten und großmächtigsten
Königs in Pohlen und Chur=Fürsten
zu Sachsen
in unterthänigster Ehrfurcht aufgeführet
in dem
collegio Musico
durch
J.S.B.

Diana, Endymion, Pan, Pales

(1.) Recit. (Diana)

Was mir behagt
Ist nur die muntre Jagd.
Bevor Aurora pranget,
Und ehe noch der Himmel tagt,
So hat mein Pfeil
Schon manche schöne Beut erlanget.

(2.) Aria. (Diana)

Jagen ist der Lust der Götter,
Jagen steht den Helden an.
Weichet meiner Nymphen Spötter,
Weichet von der Dianen Bahn!

    Da Capo.

(3.) Recit. (Endymion)

Wie? schönste Göttin, wie?
Kennst du nicht mehr dein vormals halbes Leben?
Hast du nicht dem Endymion
In seiner sanfften Ruh
Sonst manchen Liebes-Kuß gegeben?
Bist du denn, Schönste, nun
Von Liebes Banden frey,
Und folgest nur der Jägerey?

(4.) Aria.

Willst du dich nicht mehr ergezen
An den Nezen,
Die dir Amor legt?
Wo man auch, wenn man gefangen,
Nach Verlangen,
Lust und Lieb' in Banden pflegt.

    Da Capo.

(5.) Recit. (Diana und Endymion)

(Diana)
Ich liebe dich zwar noch,
Jedoch
Heut ist ein solcher Tag erschienen,
Den ich vor allen muß
Mit meinem Lieben Kuß
Nach Schuldigkeit bedienen.
Der theureste August,
Der Sachsen Lust
Kan im erwünschten Wohlergehen
Sein Hohes Nahmens Fest jetzt sehen.

(Endymion)
So gönne mir,
Dyana, daß ich mich mit dir
Zugleich verbinden
Und auch ein Opffer an darff zünden.

Duetto (Diana und Endymion)
Ja! ja!
Wir tragen unsre Flammen
Von einem guten Wunsch zusammen.

(6.) Recit. (Pan)

Ich, der ich sonst ein Gott
In diesen Feldern bin,
Ich lege meinen Schäffer-Stab hin,
Weil der durchlauchte Pan
Das Land so glücklich machet
Daß Wald und Feld, und alles lebt und lachet.

(7.) Aria. (Pan)

Ein Fürst ist seines landes Pan.
Gleichwie der Cörper ohne Seele
Nicht leben, noch sich regen kan;
So ist das Land die Todten-Höhle,
Das sonder Haupt und Fürsten ist,
Und so das beste Theil vermißt.

(8.) Recit. (Pales)

Mein Opfer soll gewißlich nicht
Das lezte sezn.
Nein! nein!
Ich wills zu deinen Füßen legen;
Denn da das ganze Land von vivat schallt,
Soll dieses schöne Feld
Dir, großer König, Fürst und Held,
Zu Ehren sich bewegen.

(9.) Aria. (Pales)

Schaafe können sicher weyden
Wo ein guter Hirte wacht.
Wo Regenten wohl regieren
Kan man Ruh und Friede spüren
Und was Länder glücklich macht!

    Da Capo.

(10.) Recit. (Diana)

So stimmit mit ein,
Und laßt des Tages Lust vollkommen seyn!

(11.) Aria à 4.

Lebe, Sonne dieser Erden,
Weil Diana bey der Nacht
An der Burg des Himmels wacht,
Weil die Wälder grünen werden,
Lebe Sonne dieser Erden!

(12.) Aria à duetto. (Endymion und Diana)

Ihr Strahlen der Freuden
Vertreibet die Leiden,
Verdoppelt die Blicke auf künfftige Zeiten!
Der Vater der Sachsen,
Augustus soll leben, Augustus muß wachsen.

(13.) Aria. (Pan)

Weil die wollenreiche Heerden
Durch dieß weit gepriesne Feld,
Lustig ausgetrieben werden,
Lebe dieser Sachsen Held.

(14.) Aria. (Pales)

Ihr Felder und Auen,
Die lieblich zuschauen,
Auf, singet / ruffet / hierzu:
Es lebe Augustus in Seegen und Ruh!

(15.) Corus

Ihr lieblichste Blicke, ihr freudige Stunden,
Euch bleibe das Glücke auf ewig verbunden!
Kommt wieder, doch allzeit in schönerem Licht,
Damit es euch minner an Purpur begricht,
Damit wir mit Freuden
Die Opffer bereiten.

    Da Capo.


A Merry Contest of the Gods

Diana, Endymion, Pan, Pales(1)

1. Recit. (Diana)

My only joy
Is in the merry hunt!
Before Aurora gloweth,
And e'en before the heavens light,
Hath this my dart already found much pleasing booty.

2. Aria (Diana)

Hunting is the gods' true pleasure,
Hunting suits the heroes well!
Yield now, of my nymphs all scorners,
Yield now from Diana' course!

    Da Capo.

3. Recit. (Endymion)

What, fairest goddess? What?
Know'st thou no more thine erstwhile boon companion?
Hast thou not thine Endymion
Amidst his soft repose(2)
Once many dulcet kisses offered?
Art thou then, fairest, now
From love's tight bonds released,
Pursuing now nought but the chase?

4. Aria (Endymion)

Wouldst thou then no more take pleasure
In the meshes,
Those thee Amor laid?
Where we, too, when once we're captured,
At our leisure,
Joy and love in bonds have plied.

    Da Capo.

5. Recit. (Diana, Endymion)

(Diana)
I love thee even still!
But yet
Today hath such a day appeared
Which I before all else
Must with my loving kiss
Give dutiful attendance.
Most dearly loved August,
The Saxons' joy,
May in most welcome fortune's favor
His lofty nameday feast now witness.

(Endymion)
Then grant me this,
Diana, that I may at once
Be thy companion
And, too, an off'ring here may kindle.

(Both)
Yes, yes! We'll bring our flames of fervor
Within a hearty wish together.

6. Recit. (Pan)

I, who am wont a god
Amongst these fields to be,
I'll now lay down my shepherd's staff,
To Friederich Augustus' scepter yield,
For this illustrious Pan his land so happy maketh,
That wood and field and all are live with laughter!

7. Aria (Pan)

A prince is his own country's Pan!
Just as the body lacking spirit
No life nor animation hath,
So is that land a deadman's hollow
Which lacking head and prince exists
And thus its finest part doth miss.

8. Recit. (Pales)

My off'ring shall most surely not
The last one be.
No, no!
I will before thy feet now lay it;
For while the whole wide land with "Vivat" rings,
Shall, too, this lovely field,
Thee, mighty hero, prince and king,
To praise, itself be stirring.(3)

9. Aria (Pales)

Sheep may ever graze securely
Where a worthy shepherd wakes.
Where the rulers well are ruling,
May one rest and peace discover
And what nations blissful makes!

    Da Capo.

10. Recit. (Diana)

Then join the song,
And to the day's delight perfection bring!

11. Chorus (All Four)

Live, O sun of this our earth now,
While Diana doth by night
On the tow'r of heaven watch,
While the woodlands change with verdure,
Live, O sun of this our earth now.

12. Aria (Diana, Endymion)

Ye bright rays of gladness
Now banish all sadness,
Redouble your glances in ages forthcoming!
The father of Saxons,
Augustus shall live long, Augustus must flourish.

13. Aria (Pan)(4)

While the herds all woolly-coated
Through this widely honored field
Merrily to mead are driven,
Flourish this great Saxon lord.

14. Aria (Pales)(5)

Ye pastures and meadows,
Which sweetly look on here,
Rise, sing ye / shout ye / with us:
Long life to August in blessing and peace.

15. Chorus

Ye fairest of glances, ye hours delighted,
With you be good fortune forever united.
Return here, but always in lovelier light,
So that for you ever the purple stay bright,
So that we with pleasure
Our sacrifice offer.

    Da Capo.


1. Pales was the goddess or god of shepherds, honored on April 21 in the Parilia or Palilia, the feast of the founding of Rome (cf. Ovid, Fasti 4. 721ff.). The ceremony included lustration of the herds and bonfires through which participants jumped three times (cf. the last three lines of 5: zünde and Flammen). In Movement 5 of the present version hohes Nahmens Fest replaces Franck's Ursprungsfest 'foundation feast,' an apparent reference to the association of Pales with the foundation of Rome. While such authors as Vergil, very familiar to baroque poets, refer to Pales as feminine, Servius' note on Vergil's Georgics 3. 1, says that Varro (1st cent. B. C) treated Pales as masculine. Pales is masculine also in Arnobius (3rd cent. A. D) and Martianus Capella (5th cent.). While Franck makes Pales feminine in BWV 208 and Bach assigns the role to a soprano, a textual change in 8 leaves the gender inexplicit in the present version. The voice parts are not indicated in Bach's manuscript of the text (there is no music). 13 and 14 are assigned to Pan and Pales, respectively, the reverse of the assignment in BWV 208.

2. This alludes to Endymion's everlasting sleep. Cf. Apollodorus, I. 56 and Pausanias, 5. 1. 5.

3. There are curious changes in the text of this movement: the gender of Pales is suppressed, and there is an only partially effective attempt to make Pales' point clearer. In the version of 1713 Pales means that her gift will not be the final one of the festival, for her gift will be to inspire the fields to add their own gift of praise for Christian. Yet the following aria hardly has the character of such an exhortation. Only in 13 does Pales seem to prepare to make good on her promise, and then it is actually Pan who in 14 commands the fields to cry "Vivat" in praise of Christian. In this revision, however, Pales predicts that her (or his) gift will not be the last because the field will stir itself to make an addition offering. But there still remains a slight inconsistency, for it is Pales who now in 14, apparently not relying on the spontaneity of the fields, summons the fields directly to join in the congratulations.

4. This aria is assigned to Pales in the version of 1713 (BWV 208).

5. This aria is assigned to Pan in BWV 208.


© Copyright Z. Philip Ambrose


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