J.S. Bach Weihnachts-Oratorium German Text Pronunciation

The sound files on this page are edited versions of files produced by Dr John Cavallaro, and recorded and edited by Dr John Pearson, to assist the singers of Princeton Pro Musica in rehearsals for a performance of the work in 2010. The German text is from the Bärenreiter edition of the work. The English translation of biblical passages is from the King James VI Authorised Version of 1611; the other English translations are by Mr Robert Minett of St Margaret's School, Aberdeen. The choir gratefully acknowledges the work of Dr Cavallaro, Mr Pearson and Mr Minett.

For most modern browsers, click on the play button for each piece to hear the spoken text. On an iPhone, rotate the iPhone into landscape view as the player may obscure some of the text in portrait mode.

If you are using an old Internet Explorer browser (IE8 or earlier), click on the loudspeaker icon. A pop up window with a player will open will play the sound file automatically. Depending on which media player is installed, you may have to move the pop up window to allow you to see the German words. If you do not close the pop up window before moving on to the next piece, it may disappear behind the main browser window but that will not affect its ability to play the sound file.

These pages were originally produced by Aberdeen Bach Choir to help singers rehearsing for a performance of parts 1-4 on 8 December 2013 in St Machar's Cathedral, Aberdeen, and the pages for parts 1 and 4 have been re-used, along with new pages for parts 5 and 6, for the rehearsals for the performance on Sunday 3 December 2017 in the same venue.

Part 1                The Birth of Jesus

1. Chorus 

Jauchzet, frohlocket, auf, preiset die Tage,
rühmet, was heute der Höchste getan!
Lasset das Zagen, verbannet die Klage,
stimmet voll Jauchzen und Fröhlichkeit an!
Dienet dem Höchsten mit herrlichen Chören,
Laßt uns den Namen des Herrschers verehren! (D.C.)

Rejoice, be cheerful, arise, praise the days,
Give glory to what the Highest has done!
Abandon faint-heartedness, banish lamentation,
Sing in exultation and joyfulness!
Serve the most High with glorious choirs,
Let us honour the name of the Lord! (D.C.)

5. Chorale 

Wie soll ich dich empfangen
und wie begegn’ich dir?
O aller Welt Verlangen, o meiner Seelen Zier!
O Jesu, Jesu, setze, mir selbst die Fackel bei,
damit, was dich ergötze, mir kund und wissend sei!

  How shall I receive you
and how shall I welcome you?
O desire of all the world, O joy of my soul!
O Jesu, Jesu, place your flame by me,
that I may know what delights you!

9. Chorale     Text: Martin Luther, 1535

Ach mein herzliebes Jesulein,
mach dir ein rein sanft Bettelein,
zu ruhn in meines Herzens Schrein,
daß ich nimmer vergesse dein!

Oh my dearest baby Jesus,
Make a pure soft bed,
To rest in the shrine of my heart, 
That I may never forget you.