BWV 205 Zerreißet, zersprenget, zertrümmert die Gruft

Der Zufriedengestellte Äolus (Drama per Musica)

Nameday of Leipzig University Professor Dr. August Friedrich Müller.
Christian Friedrich Henrici (Picander), Ernst-Schertzhaffte und Satyrische Gedichte, Teil I (Leipzig, 1727, 2nd ed., 1723, 3rd ed., 1736); Facs: Neumann T, p. 314.

3 August 1725, Leipzig; Parody: 1-7, 9-11, 13, 15 → BWV 205a.

BG 11, 2; NBA I/38.

Aeolus Appeased

A Drama in Music

Pallas (S), Pomona (A), Zephyrus (T), Aeolus (B)(1)

1. Chorus (S, A, T, B) Chorus of Winds

Demolish, disrupt it, destroy the lair,
Which doth our fury's rage confine!

    Now burst through the air,
    That even the sun with darkness ye cover,
    Divide now the oceans and rage the world over,
    That even heaven may repine!

2. Recit. (B) Aeolus

Yes, yes!
The hours are now near at hand
When I for you my loyal subjects
The exit from your solitude,
(For soon the summer days will end)
To freedom shall lay open.
I give you might
From evening until morning,
From midday until mid of night
To vent your rage and anger,
That clover, flowers, leaves
Midst cold and frost and snow
May feel your blasts of terror.
I give you might
The cedars to send crashing
And mountain peaks to spit asunder.
I give you might
The boist’rous waters of the ocean
With your great force so high to raise,
That constellations will imagine
Their fire must soon through you, expiring, dim and die.

3. Aria (B) Aeolus

How I will burst with laughter
When all is thoroughly confused!
When even cliffs stand not secure
And when the housetops shatter,
Then will I burst with laughter!

4. Recit. (T) Zephyrus

O rev’rend Aeolus,
Within whose lap I usually nestle
And in thy peace take pleasure,
May this thy stern resolve
In me not all too soon strike terror;
Delay now, let in thee,
As boon to me,
Some pity yet be wakened!

5. Aria (T) Zephyrus

Cooling shadows, my true pleasure,
See how painful my departure,
Come, lament now my disgrace!

    Bend yourselves, ye orphaned branches,
    Ah, I'll hush now,
    Follow me with saddened face!

6. Recit. (B) Aeolus

Thou shalt soon bring me close to weeping.
What? See I not Pomona here?
And, if I’m right, there’s Pallas, too, with her.
Say, worthies, say what ye would have of me?
For on your mind is surely something weighty.

7. Aria (A) Pomona

If these cheeks of rosy color,
In which all my fruit finds rapture,
Can thine angry heart not capture,
Ah, then tell me, canst thou see
How the leaves upon the branches
Are to earth in sadness bending,
That their sorrow be averted
Which to them is bound to be.

8. Recit. (A, S) Pomona, Pallas

Then wouldst thou, angry Aeolus,
Just like a cliff of stone
To my petition stand?

Well then, I will and must
With this my sighing venture;
Perhaps to me
That which, Pomona, he
In silence hath denied thee,
Will he allow.

(Pallas, Pomona)
Fine! If he doth to {me/thee} more kindly then respond.

9. Aria (S) Pallas
O enchanting Zephyrus,
This thy musky-flavored kiss
And thy cooling spying
Shall upon my heights be playing.
Great and good King Aeolus,
Say then, please, to Zephyrus
That his musky-flavored kiss
And his cooling spying
Shall upon my heights be playing.

10. Recit. (S, B) Pallas, Aeolus

My Aeolus,
Ah, hinder not these joyous moments
While, of my Muses, Helicon
A feast, a festival of gladness
Upon his lofty peaks presents.

Then tell me this:
Why doth to thee
Especially this day so precious,
So dear and sacred seem?
O bother and distress!
Shall I then here a woman’s purpose
Within my own domain accomplish?

My Müller, mine August,
Pierians' delight and joy(2) 

Thy Müller, thine August!

And my belovéd son,

Thy Müller, thine August!

Enjoyeth now contented moments,
For him eternity
His sentient name hath prophesied.(3)

Thy Müller! Thine August!
Pierians' delight and joy
And thy belovéd son
Enjoyeth now contented moments,
For him eternity
His sentient name hath prophesied:
Well then! I'll let myself be mastered,
Your desire shall be accomplished.

11. Aria (B) Aeolus

Retire now, retire now, ye wing-bearing tempests,
Now calm yourselves down;

    And if ye blow soon,
    Then blow henceforth with nought but mildness!

12. Recit. (S, A, T) Pallas, Pomona, Zephyrus

What joy!

    What gladness!

      What contentment!

(All three)
Ariseth in the breast,
That now to our request
His wishes grant fulfillment.

I can now midst the boughs’ green raiment
Display henceforth my deep contentment.

And I’ll survey my pleasure
In my maturing treasure.

And I’ll in my contented rest
For mine August bring the feast.

(Pomona, Zephyrus)
We are for thy festivities
With equal joy prepared.

13. Aria (A, T) Pomona, Zephyrus

Boughs and branches
Tribute pay thee for thy feastday
With their gifts of great excess.

And my mirth must I profess,
This thine August to pay honor,
And this day’s great joy to garner.

(Pomona, Zephyrus)
I bring now my {harvest/whispers} with gladness to thee,

That all for the frolic more perfect might be.
14. Recit. (S) Pallas

Yes, yes! I bid you come myself to this glad scene:
Arise now to my beetling regions,
Where joy doth midst the Muses reign,
Who wait, inflamed with eager passions.
Rise! Let us now, as we rush yonder,
The air with happy wishes sunder!

15. Chorus (S, A, T, B) Tutti

Vivat August, August vivat,
Blest be thou, O learnéd / O honored / sir!

    Thy contentment, let it flower,
    That thy teaching, thine endeavor
    May those very plants uncover
    Which shall a land one day to glory shine.

1. Pallas is another name for Athena (Minerva), Pomona is the Roman goddess of fruits, Zephyrus is the west wind, and Aeolus is the King of the winds. The storm dispatched by Aeolus is drawn loosely from Vergil, Aeneid 1.

2. Pieria was a region of Macedonia sacred to the Muses; thus, the Pierinnen are the Muses.

3. The name August (in Latin and English, Augustus), both in its etymology from augeo 'increase' and in its application not only to the first Roman emperor but to the reigning Elector of Saxony and King of Poland, Augustus II, is a propitious name. Though this cantata honors the Leipzig teacher Dr. August Friedrich Müller (born 1684, 1707 Magister, 1717 Doctor juris, 1731 promoted to Professor, 1733 and 1743 Rector magnificus), Bach performed it with a new text for the coronation of Augustus III, 17 January 1734 (BWV 205a). In the English underlay it is necessary to keep the German spelling of the name. Bach accents its second syllable in this movement and its first syllable in the final chorus.

© Copyright Z. Philip Ambrose

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