CANTATA BWV 82a FOR SOPRANO AND STRINGS 'ICH HABE GENUNG'
This is the first time we are trying a work of this scale at the festival and we are starting with one of Bach’s most beloved cantatas. "Ich habe genung" (I Have Now Enough), BWV 82 was first performed in Leipzig in 1727 for the Feast of the Purification of the Virgin Mary. The biblical story (Luke 2:25) is the Song of Simeon, or Nunc Dimittis; the author of the text is unknown. Though most often heard with a bass soloist and oboe obbligato, Bach’s version in E minor features a soprano soloist with flute obbligato and dates to 1731; it was a favorite in Bach’s family circle, and his wife, Anna Magdalena, herself made piano reductions of the third and fourth movements.
The first aria begins with an orchestral introduction with flute solo that sets a tone of introspection that pervades all five movements, and the soprano soloist emerges from the texture peacefully stating her faith and welcoming the journey to Providence. The following recitative reaffirms her conviction before the aria,
"Schlummert ein, ihr matten Augen." The fourth movement, a brief recitative, leads to the fiery vivace of the closing aria, translated as “I delight in my death.”
I have now enough,
I have now my Savior, the hope of the faithful
Within my desiring embrace now enfolded;
I have now enough!
On him have I gazed,
My faith now hath Jesus impressed on my heart;
I would now, today yet, with gladness
Make hence my departure.
I have now enough.
My hope is this alone,
That Jesus might belong to me and I to him.
In faith I hold to him,
For I, too, see with Simeon
The gladness of that life beyond.
Let us in this man's burden join!
Ah! Would that from the bondage of my body
The Lord might free me.
Ah! My departure, were it here,
With joy I'd say to thee, O world:
I have now enough.
Slumber now, ye eyes so weary,
Fall in soft and calm repose!
World, I dwell no longer here,
Since I have no share in thee
Which my soul could offer comfort.
Here I must with sorrow reckon,
But yet, there, there I shall witness
Sweet repose and quiet rest.
My God! When comes that blessed "Now!"
When I in peace shall walk forever
Both in the sand of earth's own coolness
And there within thy bosom rest?
My parting is achieved,
O world, good night!
Rejoicing do I greet my death,
Ah, would that it had come already.
I'll escape then all the woe
Which doth here in the world confine me.
Program notes by David Yang