BWV 32  Liebster Jesu, mein Verlangen (Dialogus)

First Sunday after Epiphany.

Georg Christian Lehms, Gottgefälliges Kirchen-Opffer (Darmstadt, 1711); Facs: Neumann T, p. 258.

2. After Lk. 2:49; 6. added by Bach: Paul Gerhardt, verse 12 of "Weg, mein Herz, mit den Gedanken," 1647 (Fischer-Tümpel, III, #382), to the melody of "Freu dich sehr, o meine Seele" (cf. BWV 70/7).

13 January 1726, Leipzig.

BG 7; NBA I/5.


Dialogue: Soul (S), Jesus (B)

1. Aria (S) Soul

Dearest Jesus, my desiring,
Tell me now where I'll find thee.
Shall I then so quickly lose thee
And no longer by me feel thee?
Ah, my shield, now gladden me,
Let my fondest joy embrace thee.

2. Recit. [Dictum] (B) Jesus

But why wast thou looking for me? Know'st thou not that I must be about my Father's business now?(1)

3. Aria (B) Jesus

Here, within my Father's dwelling,
Findeth me a downcast soul.

    Here canst thou most surely find me
    And thy heart to me bind firmly,
    For this is my dwelling called.

4. Recit. (S, B) Soul, Jesus

(Soul)
Ah, holy and most mighty God,
Thus I'll for me
Then here with thee
Seek constant help and consolation.

(Jesus)
If thou of earthly trash art scornful
And only to this dwelling go,
Thou canst both here and there fare well.(2)

(Soul)
How lovely is, though, this thy dwelling,
Lord, mighty Sabaoth;(3)
My spirit longs
For that which only in thy court doth shine.
My soul and body are made glad
Within the living God:(4)
Ah! Jesus, this my heart loves thee alone alway.

(Jesus)
Thou canst then happy be,
If heart and soul
With love for me be now with passion filled.

(Soul)
Ah! This reply, which shall henceforth
My heart from Babel's borders tear,
I shall adoring bind within my spirit now.

5. Aria (S, B) Soul, Jesus

(Both)
Now shall vanish ev'ry torment
Now shall vanish "Ah and woe."

(Soul)
Now I will not ever leave thee,

(Jesus)
And I'll also e'er embrace thee.

(Soul)
Now contented is my heart

(Jesus)
And can filled with gladness utter:

(Both)
Now shall vanish ev'ry torment
Now shall vanish "Ah and woe!"

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

My God, open me the portals
Of this grace and kindliness,
In all times and in all places
Let me thy dear sweetness taste!
Love me, too, and lead me on,
That I may as best I can
Once again embrace and love thee
And may now no more be saddened.


1. The fact that the Biblical text is from the boyhood of Jesus does not affect the conventional assignment of the Vox Christi to a bass.

2. "Here and there" means "on earth and in heaven."

3. Sabaoth Hebr. 'armies.' One might substitute "Lord of hosts."

4. Ps. 84:2-3.


© Copyright  Z. Philip Ambrose


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