BWV 1 Wie schön leuchtet der Morgenstern

The Annunciation of the Blessed Virgin Mary.

Poet unknown.

1. Philipp Nicolai, verse 1 of the hymn, 1599; 2. based on verse 2; 3. based on verse 3; 4. based on verses 4 and 5; 5. based on verse 6; 6. verse 7, the final verse of the hymn.

25 March 1725, Leipzig.

BG 1; NBA I/28. 

1. Chorus [Verse 1] (S, A, T, B)

How beauteous beams the morning star
With truth and blessing from the Lord,
The darling root of Jesse!
Thou, David's son of Jacob's stem,
My bridegroom and my royal king,
Art of my heart the master,
Bright and glorious, great and righteous, rich in blessings,
High and most richly exalted.

2. Recit. (T)

O thou true Son of Mary and of God,
O thou the king of all the chosen,
How sweet to us this word of life,
By which e'en earliest patriarchs
Both years and days did number,
Which Gabriel with gladness there
In Bethlehem did promise!
O sweet delight, O heav'nly bread,
Which neither grave, nor harm, nor death
From these our hearts can sunder.

3. Aria (S)

O fill now, ye flames, both divine and celestial,
The breast which to thee doth in faith ever strive!
The souls here perceive now the strongest of feelings
Of love most impassioned
And savor on earth the celestial joy.

4. Recit. (B)

No earthly gloss, no fleshly light
Could ever stir my soul;
A sign of joy to me from God has risen,
For now a perfect gift,
The Savior's flesh and blood,
Is for refreshment here.
So must, indeed,
This all-excelling blessing,
To us eternally ordained
And which our faith doth now embrace,
To thanks and praise bestir us.

5. Aria (T)

Let our voice and strings resounding
Unto thee
Thanks and sacrifice make ready.
Heart and spirit are uplifted,
All life long
And with song,
Mighty king, to bring thee honor.

6. Chorus [Verse 7] (S, A, T, B)

I am, indeed, so truly glad
My treasure is the A and O,
Beginning and the ending;
He will, indeed, the praise be his,
Receive me in his paradise,
For this my hands are clapping
Come, thou lovely crown of gladness, do not tarry,
I await thee with great longing.

© Copyright  Z. Philip Ambrose