Program Notes



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.”

1. Aria

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.


2. Recitative

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.


3. Aria

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.


4. Recitative

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!


5. Aria

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