BWV 35 Geist und Seele wird verwirret

Twelfth Sunday after Trinity.

Georg Christian Lehms, Gottgefälliges Kirchen-Opffer (Darmstadt, 1711); Facs: Neumann T, p. 261.

8 September 1726, Leipzig; 1 ← a concerto from the Cöthen period, of which a fragment survives in a version for harpsichord, BWV 1059.

BG 7; NBA I/20.

First Part

1. Concerto

2. Aria (A)
Soul with spirit is bewildered
When it thee, my God, regards.(1)

    For the wonders, which it knoweth,
    Which the folk with triumph telleth,
    It both deaf and dumb have made.

3. Recit. (A)

I am amazed;
For ev'rything we see
Must give us cause to marvel.
Regarding thee,
Thou precious Son of God,
From me
My reason and my sense do flee.
Thou art the reason
That even miracles next thee so wretched seem.
Thou art
In name and deed and office truly wonderful,
There is no thing of wonder on the earth like thee.
For hearing givest thou the deaf,
The dumb thou dost return their speaking,
Yea, more than this,
Dost open the lids of eyes unseeing.
These, these are works of wonder,
And to their power
Doth e'en the angel choir lack strength to give expression.

4. Aria (A)

God hath all so well achieved.
His devotion, his good faith
We see every day renewed.
When both fear and toil oppress us,
He hath ample comfort sent us,
For he tendeth us each day.
God hath all so well achieved.

Second Part

5. Sinfonia

6. Recit. (A)

Ah, mighty God, let me
Then this alway remember,
And then I can
Content within my soul implant thee.
For me let thy sweet Hephata (2)
My heart so obstinate now soften;
Ah, lay thou but upon mine ear thy gracious finger,
Or else I soon must perish.
Touch, too, my tongue's restraint
With thine own mighty hand,
That I may all these signs of wonder
In sacred worship praise,
Myself thine heir and child revealing.

7. Aria (A)

I seek alone with God to live,
Ah, would that now the time were here,
To raise a glad hallelujah
With all the angels in rejoicing.
My dearest Jesus, do release
This sorrow-laden yoke of pain
And let me soon within thy bosom
My torment-filled existence finish.

1. Frequently in the cantata texts there is a singular verb with a compound subject, especially when, as here, the two subjects Geist and Seele have virtually the same meaning (a rhetorical figure called congeries verborum). While this might have been allowable in the English of Bach's period, it is probably preferable to avoid the inconcinnity. I have placed one of the subjects in a prepositional phrase and kept a singular verb.

2. Hephata Hebr. 'be opened'

© Copyright  Z. Philip Ambrose

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