BWV 248II Und es waren Hirten in derselben Gegend (Weihnachts-Oratorium II)

Second Day of Christmas (St. Stephen).

Poet unknown (Picander?); PT (Leipzig, 1734); Facs: Neumann T, p. 450.

2 (11). Lk. 2:8-9; 3 (12). Johann Rist, verse 9 of "Ermuntre dich, mein schwacher Geist," 1641 (Fischer-Tümpel, II, #184); 4 (13). Lk. 2:10-11; 7 (16). Lk. 2:12; 8 (17). Paul Gerhardt, verse 8 of "Schaut, schaut, was ist für Wunder dar," 1667 (Fischer-Tümpel, III, #485); 11 (20) and 12 (21). Lk. 2:13-14; 14 (23). Paul Gerhardt, verse 2 of "Wir singen dir, Immanuel," 1656 (Fischer-Tümpel, III, #403).

26 December 1734, Leipzig; Parody: 6 (15) ← BWV 214/5; 10 (19) ←  BWV 213/3.

BG 5, 2; NBA II/6.

Christmas Oratorio II
1 (10). Sinfonia

2 (11). Recit. (T) Evangelist

And there were shepherds in that very region in the field nearby their sheepfolds, who kept their watch by night over their flocks. And see now, the angel of the Lord came before them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them, and they were sore afraid.

3 (12). Chorale (S,A,T,B)

Break forth, O beauteous morning light,
And bring day to the heavens!
Thou shepherd folk, be not afraid,
For thee the angel telleth
That this the helpless little boy
Shall be our comfort and our joy,
Here for to conquer Satan
And peace at last to bring us!

4 (13). Recit. (T, S) Evangelist, Angel

And the angel spake unto them:

Be not afraid, see now, I proclaim to you news of great gladness, which all the nations of the world will learn. For to you today is the Savior born, who is Christ, the Lord, in the city of David.

5 (14). Recit. (B)

What God to Abraham did promise,
This hath he to the shepherd choir
Revealed and proven.
A shepherd all this once before
Of God to learn was destined;
And now as well a shepherd must
The deed of yore he promised us
Be first to see completed.

6 (15). Aria (T)

Joyful shepherds, haste, ah hasten,
Ere ye here too long should tarry,
Haste, the gracious child to visit!
Go, your gladness is too fair,
Seek his grace’s inspiration,
Go and comfort heart and spirit.

7 (16). Recit. (T) Evangelist

And let this be your sign: ye will discover the babe in swaddling clothes there wrapped and in a manger lying.

8 (17). Chorale (S,A,T,B)

Look there, he lies in manger drear
Whose power reacheth ev’rywhere!
Where fodder once the ox did seek,
The Virgin's child now resteth meek.

9 (18). Recit. (B)

So go then there, ye shepherds, go,
That ye this wonder see:
And when ye find the Highest’s Son
Within an austere manger lying,
Then sing to him beside his cradle
In tones that sweetly ring
And with assembled choir
This song of slumber bring!
10 (19). Aria (A)

Sleep now, my dearest, enjoy now thy rest,
Wake on the morrow to flourish in splendor!
Lighten thy breast,
With joy be thou blest,
Where we hold our heart’s great pleasure!

11 (20). Recit. (T) Evangelist

And suddenly there was with the angel the multitude of the host of heaven, there praising God and saying:

12 (21). Chorus (S,A,T,B) Choir of Angels

Glory to God in the highest and peace on the earth now and to mankind a sign of favor.

13 (22). Recit. (B)

’Tis meet, ye angels, sing and triumph, That we today have gained such fortune! Up then! We’ll join our voice to yours, We can as well as ye rejoice.

14 (23). Chorale (S,A,T,B)
We sing to thee thy host amidst
With all our strength, laud, fame and praise,
That thou, O long desiréd guest,
Art come into this world at last.

© Copyright  Z. Philip Ambrose

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