BWV 216 Vergnügte Pleißenstadt (Die Pleiße und Neiße)

Wedding of Johann Heinrich Wolff and Susanna Regina Hempel (5 February 1728).

Christian Friedrich Henrici (Picander), Ernst-Schertzhaffte und Satyrische Gedichte, Teil II (Leipzig, 1729, 2nd ed., 1734); Facs: Neumann T, p. 325.

5 February 1728, Leipzig; Parody: 1, 3, 5, 7 ---> BWV 216a/1, 3, 5, 7; 3 <--- BWV 204/8; 7 <--- BWV 205/13.

BG 34, Vorwort; NBA I/40.


A Drama in Music

The Pleisse (A) and Neisse (S)(1)

1. Aria à duetto (S, A) Neisse, Pleisse

(Neisse and Pleisse)
{Contented Pleisse-/O happy Neisse-} town,
Thy {pleasure/fortune} grows and shines above all others.

    Who doth his joy in thy great {splendor/beauty} take
    Will fall and bide in love with thee
    And cannot elsewhere find more pleasure.

2. Recit. (S, A) Neisse, Pleisse

(Neisse)
However pleasant be my bounds,
Yet doth my fairest part from me.
Where to,
Miss Hempelin, thou so full of grace?

(Pleisse)
Here, where the very Naiad daughters(2)
To Pleisse's banks have her now summoned.

(Neisse)
Ah, Pleisse's strand, O hated Pleisse's strand!
Who hath to her
Thy praises sung and called thee fair?
Thou hast amongst thine own
Of offspring fair abundant store,
Why wouldst thou then from this my region take them?
Thus do I say now with chagrin:
Thou hast my finest from me stolen.

3. Aria (S) Neisse

O most charming Hempel miss,
This thy soul is free from blemish,
This thy face is like the angels',
Angel-like, thine ev'ry wish,
O most charming Hempel miss.
O my dearest Hempel miss,
Thou, thou wast mine ornament,
But as soon as thou left me,
I my very crown did miss,
O my dearest Hempel miss.

4. Recit. (A) Pleisse

Forego now thy chagrin,
Belove'd Neisse stream,
And send along thy Hempel miss
To me and with thy fondest wish!
Come, take thy choice
As well from these my sons here!
Suppose now that thou wert inclined
A groom to make of one of them
For one of thy fair beauties,
Thou shalt at anytime
Herein have free and open choice.
Rest sure that I will ev'ry morning
Be thy fair child with luck and health providing.

5. Aria (A) Pleisse

With laughing and joking,
With kissing and hugging,
Uniteth affection its undying bond.

    Then will all the years as mere days seem to vanish,
    Then will as well even the hours
    Be minutes renamed.

6. Recit. (A, S) Pleisse, Neisse

(Pleisse)
How sweetly hath she now
By these my ladies been accepted!
See how they fondly act towards her!
They send to her through me their welcome!

(Neisse)
I hope, now that I've brought her here,
That this my Hempel miss
Of her great joy no whit may lose.
Belove'd Wolff, to her inclined and true,
Receive her decked in garlands now!

(Pleisse)
The wedding veil the morrow brings her.

(Neisse)
That doth indeed to maidens bring contentment.

(Pleisse)
And meanwhile I shall now this pair
In my most faithful hopes include.

(Neisse)
And like thine own shall be my mood.

7. Aria à duetto (A, S) Pleisse, Neisse

(Pleisse)
Health and blessing
Bring you, precious pair, their service,
As my streams the fields attend.

(Neisse)
And the pleasure which ye have
Should and will in springs be welling,
Richer than my streams own flowing.

(Pleisse and Neisse)
And then will their {spirits/cradles} with {gladness/children} be crowned,
And such joy, the longer, the greater enjoyed.


1. This title is found in the PT. The Pleisse is a small river of Leipzig, the home of the bridegroom, and the Neisse is the river on which Zittau lies, the town of the bride.

2. The Naiads were nymphs who guarded lakes, rivers, springs, and fountains.


© Copyright  Z. Philip Ambrose


Back to top