BWV 36c Schwingt freudig euch empor

Birthday Cantata for a teacher

Poet perhaps Picander; original format for BWV 36a (so Dürr, p. 46);

April or May? 1725, Leipzig; 1, 3, 5, 7, 9 Parody → BWV 36b and 1, 3, 5, 7 Parody → BWV 36.

BG 7, Anhang, and 34; NBA I/39.

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

With gladness rise aloft, unto the stars press onward,
Good wishes, till you God before his throne beholds!
Yet, pause awhile! a heart need not span such great distance
That gratitude and duty to its teacher pull.

2. Recit. (T)

A heart that’s filled with soft affections,
That in him endless joy awakes,
Is almost overwhelmed in its own pleasure,
For to it hope doth ever more reveal.
There riseth like a brilliant light,
Devotion's ardor to God’s holy shrine;
How true, the worthy teacher’s fame
Is his own pole, to which, a magnet like,
His hopes and his deep longing tend.

3. Aria (T)

Love's force doth guide with gentle paces
A heart that its dear teacher loves.

    Where others to excess are yielding,
    This heart more cautiously is stirring
    For to it reverence measure gives.

4. Recit. (B)

Thou art, indeed, O much deserving Sir,
The man who in unbroken teaching
With highest honors
The senior badge of silver can display.
Thanks, veneration, fame,
They all come here together;
And since thou these our hearts
As light and leader must direct,
Thou wilt this joyful commendation not condemn.

5. Aria (B)

The day that thee long hence did bear
Appears to us so wholesom now
As that day when our Maker saith:
Let there be light!

6. Recit. (S)

Just this one thing doth worry us:
Our offering may be too imperfect;
Yet, if it but by thee,
O valued teacher, kindly find acceptance,
Its worth, however poor, will rise
As high as our devoted hearts desire.

7. Aria (S)

E'en with our muted, feeble voices
Proclaim we this our teacher's praise.

    It echoes forceful in our breast
    Although the joy which we here feel
    But partly know itself to tell.

8. Recit (T)

In such delightful joyful moments
Is our well-wishes' aim fulfilled,
Which all in all
But for thy life doth hope.

9. Chorus (S, A, T, B) and Recit. (T, B, S)

As the years find their renewal
So renewed be now thy fame!

    But yet, why do we wish,
    For this will of itself come true,
    And since indeed thy fame,
    Which our own Helicon(1) knoweth best,
    Is seen as well in other climes?

Thy merits' full proclamation
Summons more than we are able.

    So we shall hush
    And show thereby to thee
    Our gratitude though not within our mouths
    Is all the more within our hearts expressed.

This thy life's most holy shrine
Can completely give us pleasure.

    When gratitude our mouths doth open,
    Then every limb doth in the pleasure share;
    The eye extends beyond its wonted limits
    And sees thy coming happiness.

As the years find their renewal,
So renewed by now thy fame!

1. The tenor refers to the chorus as Muses or children of Muses, the express roll of the chorus in BWV 36b/1.

© Copyright Z. Philip Ambrose

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