BWV 210 O holder Tag, erwünschte Zeit

Wedding Cantata(1).

Poet unknown.

1737-1746?, Leipzig; Parody: 1, 2, 4, 6, 8, 9, 10 ---> BWV 210a/1, 2, 4, 6, 8, 9 (modified), 10; 8 <--- BWV 30a/11.

BG 29; NBA I/40.



1. Recit. (S)

O lovely day, O hoped-for time,
Be welcome, happy moments!
Ye bring a feast of joy to us.
Hence, sorrow, hence, hence, sad despair!
For heaven, which is o'er us watching,
To tend to our delight hath made you:
So let us now rejoice!
We are by God to this commanded:
Amidst the joyful to rejoice.(2)

2. Aria (S)

Play on, O ye lively anthems,
Cast down the enchanted breast
Into swooning, soft and gentle.

    But employ the strings' delight
    Strengthen and again revive them!

3. Recit. (S)

No, now desist,
Ye lively viols;
For all around this pair of lovers
Should quiet reign!
Your harmony suits not love's fondness;
For your inherent motive power
Misleadeth us to idleness,
And this doth not the time befit.
A godly wedding pair
Would rather with their grateful hearts
To the high altar venture
And there a heartfelt "Abba"(3) offer;
Their thoughts now to the soul belong
And fashion in their breast a most enchanting song.

4. Aria (S)

Rest ye here, notes so weary,
Notes so weary, rest ye here!

    This your tender harmony
    Is for this fine wedding day
    Not the proper panace(4).

5. Recit. (S)

So is it thought that music doth mislead us
And hath no harmony with love's affection?
O no! For who, indeed, would not admit its merits,
Which here such noble patrons honor?
In truth, through nature's kindly way
We are by it drawn to a higher path.
It is so much like love, a mighty child of heav'n,
Though it is not in this like love, purblind.
It stealeth into ev'ry heart
And may with high and humble dwell.
It calls the mind
To heaven's realm
And can to loving spirits
Tell God Almighty's glory.
Yea, who, if love as well is stronger called than death,
Denies it? Music gives us strength when death brings need.
O playing filled with awe!
Thee, thee we honor so!
But what is heard there like a song of grief,
Which from the hurried sound of favored strings doth flee?

6. Aria (S)

Hush, ye flutes now, hush, ye sounds ye,
For ye sound not fair to envy,
Hasten through the black air's pall
E'en till you the grave doth call!

7. Recit. (S)

What air? What grave?
Shall then that music perish
What did to us such service bring?
Shall such a child of heaven perish,
And only for a brood of hell?
O no!
That cannot be.
So rise, thy courage now renew!
For love doth of the charming viols
Endure before its throne the presence.
And meanwhile only treat pale envy with derision,
For why to this thy song is Satan's brood important?
Enough, that thou hast heaven's shield
Whene'er a foe at thee doth fume.
Take hope, there are yet many patrons
Who gladly nigh thy charm are dwelling.
And to so great a Maecenas
Shalt thou e'en now in very fact
At this his wedding feast pay honor.
Come forth and let us hear thy voice now!

8. Aria (S)

Mighty patrons, thy diversion
Must e'en o'er our sound have suasion,
For thou goodwill dost us impart.
And among thy wisdom's treasures
Can thee nought inspire such pleasure
As sweet music's charming art.

9. Recit. (S)

Esteemed good Sir, continue ever thus:
To noble harmony, as now, maintain thy favor;
And it for thee henceforth will drive away all sadness.
And then will ev'rywhere
Thy well-deserved repute be echoed.
Thy fame will like a diamond-stone,
Yea, like the hardest steel steadfast endure,
Until it through the whole wide world resoundeth.
And meanwhile grant me this:
That I amidst thy wedding's gladness
May offer my congratulations,
And, as is meet,
Thy future health and wealth may sing thee.

10. Aria (S)

Live in bliss, noble couple,
Noble couple, live in bliss!
May constant delight
Make full now your dwelling, bring joy to your heart,
Until you the Lamb's own high feast doth refresh.


1. It is unknown for whose wedding the cantata was first performed. Among suggested weddings for the subsequent performances are: Dr. Friedrich Heinrich Graff to Anna Regina Bose, 3 April 1742 (so Neumann T); Johann Zacharias Richter to Christina Sibylla Bose, 6 February 1744 (so Neumann, Krit. Bericht I/40); Friedrich Gottlieb Zoller to Johanna Catharina Amalia Schatz, 11 August 1746 (Hermann von Hase, BJ (1913), cf. Dürr, p. 704).

2. Note the etymological figure in Frohen/erfreun "joyful/rejoice."

3. Hebrew 'father.'

4. Panace (pronounced panasée) is the herb thought to produce panacea. One may prefer to translate with "remedy."


© Copyright Z. Philip Ambrose


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