J.S. Bach Weihnachts-Oratorium German Text Pronunciation

The sound files on this page were 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.

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.

The choir gratefully acknowledges the work of Dr Cavallaro and Mr Pearson in producing the sound files. These pages were originally produced by Aberdeen Bach Choir alongside pages to help singers rehearsing for a performance of parts 1-4 on 8 December 2013 in St Machar's Cathedral, Aberdeen. 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 5 The Journey of the Magi  

43. Chorus

Ehre sei dir, Gott, gesungen,
Dir sei Lob und Dank bereit'.
Dich erhebet alle Welt,
weil dir unser Wohl gefällt,
weil anheut unser aller Wunsch gelungen,
weil uns dein Segen so herrlich erfreut.


Let honour be sung to you, O God,
Praise and thanks be prepared for you.
All the world exalts you,
Since our well-being was your pleasure,
Since today all our wishes have come to pass,
Since your blessing so gloriously delights us.

46. Choral

Dein Glanz all Finsternis verzehrt,
die trübe Nacht in Licht verkehrt.
Leit uns auf deinen Wegen,
daß dein Gesicht
und herrlichs Licht
wir ewig schauen mögen!


Your radiance destroys all darkness,
the troubled night is transfigured with light.
Lead us on your paths,
so that your face
and glorious light
might always be visible to us!

53. Choral

Zwar ist solche Herzensstube
wohl kein schöner Fürstensaal,
sondern eine finstre Grube;
doch, sobald dein Gnadenstrahl
in denselben nur wird blinken,
wird es voller Sonnen dünken.


Indeed such a heart's closet
may be no ornate princely chamber,
rather a dark pit;
yet, as soon as your beams of grace
only peep within it,
it seems to be full of sunshine.