Liebster Jesu, mein Verlangen

Liebster Jesu, mein Verlangen

BWV 32 performed by the Netherlands Bach Society
conducted by Jos van Veldhoven
St. Martin's Church, Groningen

  • Menu
  • 1. Liebster Jesu, mein Verlangen (Arie)
  • 2. Was ist's, dass ihr mich gesuchet? (Rezitativ)
  • 3. Hier, in meines Vaters Stätte (Arie)
  • 4. Ach!, heiliger und grosser Gott (Rezitativ)
  • 5. Nun verschwinden alle Plagen (Duett)
  • 6. Mein Gott, öffne mir die Pforten (Choral)

Behind the music

Extra videos
Extra videos

All's well that ends well

Bach celebrates the happy ending in an almost rustic dance

In this delicate and tender cantata, the soul enters into dialogue with Jesus. The associated gospel text is about the twelve-year-old Jesus, who escapes his parents and is only found several days later in the temple, in deep conversation with wise men. In the first aria, the oboe and soprano embrace one another in an intense, sorrowful lamentation. You feel the despair of Mary herself, and her search can be seen as a metaphor for the errant soul.

This becomes even more apparent when the answer to her questions comes not from the little Jesus she is searching for, but the adult Christ. In Christ’s lyrical aria, Bach illustrates God’s comfort with a virtuoso violin part. Then Jesus and the soul find one another, which is celebrated by the soprano in an arioso of gratitude. Together, they burst into a relieved ‘Nun verschwinden alle Plagen’. Bach casts this section in the mould of a familiar dance, a gavotte, to which the oboe and especially the jubilant violins make a strong contribution. After this ‘finale’, Bach added a dignified and careful ending, which he based on the hymn ‘Weg, mein Herz, mit den Gedanken’.

Liebster Jesu, mein Verlangen
bass, soprano
Georg Christian Lehms, 1711
First Sunday after Epiphany
First performance
13 January 1726

Extra videos

Monika Mauch and Stephan MacLeod

“Soprano Monika Mauch and bass Stephan MacLeod on the different roles they play in this cantata.”

Vocal texts


1. Arie (Sopran - Seele)
Liebster Jesu, mein Verlangen,
sage mir, wo find' ich dich?
Soll ich dich so bald verlieren
und nicht ferner bei mir führen?
Ach! mein Hort, erfreue mich,
lass dich höchst vergnügt umfangen.
2. Rezitativ (Bass - Jesus)
Was ist's, dass ihr mich gesuchet?
Weisst du nicht,
dass ich sein muss in dem,
das meines Vaters ist?
3. Arie (Bass - Jesus)
Hier, in meines Vaters Stätte,
Find't mich ein betrübter Geist.
Da kannst du mich sicher finden
und dein Herz mit mir verbinden,
weil dies meine Wohnung heisst.
4. Rezitativ (Sopran - Seele, Bass - Jesus)
Ach!, heiliger und grosser Gott,
so will ich mir denn hier, bei dir,
beständig Trost und Hilfe suchen.
Wirst du den Erdentand verfluchen
und nur in diese Wohnung geh'n,
so kannst du hier und dort besteh'n.
Wie lieblich ist doch deine Wohnung,
Herr, starker Zebaoth!
Mein Geist verlangt nach dem,
was nur in deinem Hofe prangt;
mein Leib und Seele freuet sich
in dem lebend'gen Gott.
Ach, Jesu! meine Brust
liebt dich nun ewiglich.
So kannst du glücklich sein,
wenn Herz und Geist
aus Liebe gegen mich entzündet heisst.
Ach! dieses Wort, das itzo schon
mein Herz aus Babels Grenzen reisst,
fass' ich mir andachtsvoll
in meiner Seele ein.
5. Duett (Sopran - Seele, Bass - Jesus)
(Seele, Jesus) Nun verschwinden alle Plagen,
nun verschwindet Ach und Schmerz.
Nun will ich nicht von dir lassen!
Und ich dich auch stets umfassen!
Nun vergnüget sich mein Herz,
und kann voller Freude sagen:
(Seele, Jesus) Nun verschwinden alle Plagen,
nun verschwindet Ach und Schmerz!

6. Choral
Mein Gott, öffne mir die Pforten
solcher Gnad' und Gütigkeit,
lass mich allzeit aller Orten
schmecken deine Süssigkeit!
Liebe mich und treib' mich an,
dass ich dich, so gut ich kann,
wiederum umfang' und liebe
und ja nun nicht mehr betrübe.


1. Aria (Soprano - Soul)
Beloved Jesus, my desire,
tell me, where shall I find Thee?
Shall I so quickly lose Thee
and no longer feel Thee by me?
Ah! my refuge, gladden me,
be embraced with utmost joy.

2. Recitative (Bass - Jesus)
How is it that ye sought me?
Wist ye not
that I must be about
my Father’s business?

3. Aria (Bass - Jesus)
Here, within my Father’s dwelling,
may a troubled spirit discover me.
You can most surely find me there
and bind your heart to mine,
for this is called my dwelling.

4. Recitative (Soprano - Soul, Bass - Jesus)
Ah! holy and mighty God,
thus shall I seek from Thee
constant help and consolation.
If you curse worldly trifles
and enter this dwelling alone,
you can fare well both here and there.
How amiable is Thy dwelling,
Lord, mighty Sabaoth;
my spirit longs for that which
shines only in Thy court.
My body and soul
are joyful in the living God:
Ah! Jesus, it is only
Thee my heart loves forever.
You can be happy,
if heart and soul are kindled
out of love for me.
Ah! these words that already
tear my heart from Babel’s borders,
I shall reverently
engrave in my soul.

5. Duet (Soprano - Soul, Bass - Jesus)
(Soul, Jesus) Now vanish all torments,
now vanish all grief and distress.
Now shall I never leave Thee,
and I shall always embrace you.
My heart is now contented
and can say with gladness:
(Soul, Jesus) Now vanish all torments,
now vanish all grief and distress!

6. Chorale
My God, open for me the gates
of such grace and goodness,
let me at all times and in all places
savour Thy sweetness!
Love me and lead me on,
that I may as best I can
embrace and love Thee too
and no more be sad.


  • Release date
    29 January 2016
  • Recording date
    26 September 2015
  • Location
    St. Martin's Church, Groningen
  • Conductor
    Jos van Veldhoven
  • Soprano
    Monika Mauch
  • Alto
    Maarten Engeltjes
  • Tenor
    João Moreira
  • Bass
    Stephan MacLeod
  • Violin 1
    Shunske Sato, Annabelle Ferdinand, Anneke van Haaften, Annelies van der Vegt
  • Violin 2
    Sayuri Yamagata, Pieter Affourtit, Paulien Kostense
  • Viola
    Staas Swierstra, Deirdre Dowling
  • Cello
    Lucia Swarts, Richte van der Meer
  • Double bass
    Robert Franenberg
  • Oboe
    Martin Stadler
  • Bassoon
    Benny Aghassi
  • Harpsichord
    Siebe Henstra
  • Organ
    Leo van Doeselaar
  • Film director and editor
    Simon Aarden
  • Music recording producers
    Guido Tichelman, Bastiaan Kuijt, Micha de Kanter
  • Music editor
    Guido Tichelman
  • Camera
    Jorrit Garretsen, Bart Ten Harkel, Chris Reichgelt, Jochem Timmerman
  • Gaffer
    Daan de Boer, Gijs 't Hoen
  • Score reader
    Niek Wijns
  • Data handler
    Niels Cnossen
  • Editor
    Pjotr 's Gravesande
  • Project manager
    Marco Korzelius
  • Interview
    Onno van Ameijde
  • Producer concert
    Marco Meijdam, Imke Deters
  • Producer film
    Jessie Verbrugh
  • Acknowledgements
    Jan Haak

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