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G 11.013 CoverGeorg Philipp Telemann (1681–1767)
Gott weiß, ich bin von Seufzen müde

Cantata for alto voice (bass voice), 2 violins (alto recorders) and basso continuo
From “Fortsetzung des Harmonischen Gottesdienstes”
Edited by Franz Müller-Busch
Realization of the thorough bass by Eckhart Kuper

Girolamo G 11.013, score and 4 parts, € 22,00
ISMN 979-0-50084-054-1

sample page

G 11.012 G 11.014




End of 1725 Georg Philipp Telemann published his cantata cycle bearing the title: "Harmonischer Gottes-Dienst" which apparently was very successful. End of 1731, almost six years later, Telemann published the sequel:

Fortsetzung / des /
Harmonischen / Gottes-Dienstes; /
oder / geistliche / Cantaten /
über die gewöhlichen Sonn- und Fest-täglichen /
Evangelien durchs ganze Jahr; / ...

which again contained 72 cantatas for all Sundays and special feast days of the church year. The title alone reveals the possibility of various scorings. Two violins can in principle perform all instrumental parts. When the voice part has a tacit the instrumental parts are notated in cue notes. This will enable the keyboard instrument to take over the instrumental parts if necessary. A larger scoring is a further option. This is marked by 'tutti' and 'soli' in the parts indicating which passages can be performed with stronger and softer (solo voice) volume. When performing in a solistic setting 'tutti' and 'solo' are to be understood as 'forte' and 'piano'. The soprano part can also be sung by a tenor. The same applies to the alto voice, which can be replaced by a bass.

The cantata "Gott weiß, ich bin von Seufzen müde" presented here derives from the 1731 cycle and is written for the 3rd Sunday after Epiphany (Three Kings). The two parts indicated with "Violino ò Flauto dolce, l'ottava più alta." have the range g–g2 and can be played by violins as written or by 2 treble recorders an octave higher.

The texts for the cantata cycle of 1731 are taken from passages from the volume "Ruhe nach geschehener Arbeit" by Tobias Heinrich Schubart (1699–1747) published by Kißner, Hamburg 1733. Telemann must have known the lyrics long before they were published. This is not surprising since Schubart served as a preacher at St. Michaelis in Hamburg. The vivid and partially drastic language Schubart uses in his small religious dramas or operas seems a little dated. The message they bear is that there will be salvation in a world hereafter and that the present world represents nothing but a vale of tears. Telemann however succeeds to elevate the lyrics and their cryptic meaning by his ingenious hand. Thus they should be understood as a testimony of that period and not be rejected a priori. Nobody refrains from performing Bach's cantatas, which have similar texts.

Our edition is strictly in line with the edition published in 1731 which is kept at the Royal Library, Copenhagen, comprising a score and two instrumental parts. Additions made by the editor are indicated in the score.

Translation: J. Whybrow

Celle, August 2012, Franz Müller-Busch


Arie 1
Gott weiß, ich bin von Seufzen müde,
mein Bette schwemm' ich jede Nacht!
Ich suche Hülf' und muss verderben;
ich leb' und wollte gerne sterben.
Ach, ach! Führ' ich doch einmal im Friede
dahin wo ewig Wonne lacht!

Ach! Herr, Herr, wie so lange?
Gebein und Seele sind erschrocken;
mir ist recht angst und bange;
der Sünden Aussatz quält die Seele;
ach, ach! errette mich aus dieser Marterhölle
und lass die Unruh einmal ruhn!
Du sprichst: ich will es tun.
Wohlan, der Heiland ist mein Arzt,
der heilen will und kann.
Wie? Sollt' ich noch verzagen?
Nein, nein, ich trotze Not und Plagen.

Arie 2
Von mir, ihr strengen Todesboten,
werd't ihr als anmutsvoll betracht't.
Ich weiß, ihr ruft mich nach dem Himmel
und nicht nach jenem Qualgewimmel,
wo Pein ein Zähneklappern macht.
Hör' ich den letzten Seiger schlagen,
so will ich voller Freuden sagen:
Gottlob, nun ist mein Lauf vollbracht.

Tobias Heinrich Schubart

Aria 1
The Lord knoweth, how weary I am from sighing,
My bed is flooded night for night!
I seek help but am depraved;
I am alive and yet yearn to die.
Ah, alas! If only in peace I were led
To where bliss forever reigns.

Oh! Lord, Lord, what so long?
Body and soul are terrified;
And I am full of anxiety;
The sins' pestilence tormenting the soul;
Oh save me from this torturous hell
And allow the restlessness to rest for once!
You speaketh: I will concede.
Come, the Saviour is my healer,
Who will and can cure.
And? Should I despair?
No, no, I defy distress and torment.

Aria 2
Ye stern harbingers of death,
I will regard with lovingness.
For I know, you will beckon me to heaven
And not to that swarming agony below,
Where pain makes your teeth gnash.
And when my hour has come,
I will rejoice:
Thank God, my course of life is done.

Translation: J. Whybrow

Tobias Heinrich Schubart