Vergiss mein nicht, vergiss mein nicht

Vergiss mein nicht, vergiss mein nicht

BWV 505 performed by Charles Daniels,
Mieneke van der Velden and Fred Jacobs
at the Bartolotti House, Amsterdam

Behind the music

Story
Story
Extra videos
Extra videos
Texts
Texts
Credits
Credits

Evidence at last

This simple yet true aria is almost certainly by Bach.

In Schemelli’s songbook, the sacred song Vergiss mein nicht is accompanied by the note ‘di S. Bach D. M. Lips’. The latter stands for ‘director musices Lipsiensis’ (music director of the city of Leipzig). So evidence at last, or at least a strong clue, that Bach did indeed supply new music for Schemelli’s Gesangbuch! Vergiss mein nicht is a simple aria, but a true one, to the point of lyricism. In the collection, the text comes under the heading of ‘Vom zeitlichen Kreuz und Leiden’. The author begs for God’s divine assistance in all sorts of earthly needs and distress, until death.

Musicalisches Gesang-Buch G.C. Schemelli
In the eighteenth century, sacred songbooks for private use were an important aid in simple, domestic devotion. For example, no fewer than 17 editions of Johann Freylinghausen’s Geistreiches Gesangbuch were published between 1704 and 1734. Two years later, pietist Georg Christian Schemmel, alias Schemelli, launched his own songbook, containing no fewer than 954 songs, 69 of which included melody, text incipit and figured bass. In order to outdo the competition, he involved probably the most famous music consultant of all time, who happened to be his son’s music teacher: Bach. Following intensive research, only three of the 21 original melodies in the collection (BWV 439-509) can be attributed with certainty to the cantor at the Thomasschule: BWV 452, 478 and 505. The others are accompaniments, revisions and improvements. Bach’s precise role in Schemelli’s Gesangbuch will probably always remain a mystery.

BWV
505
Title
Vergiss mein nicht, vergiss mein nicht
Instrument
Tenor
Genre
songs and arias
Serie
Schemelli’s Musicalisches Gesang-Buch
Year
1722-1725
City
Köthen/Leipzig

Extra videos

Charles Daniels and Menno van Delft

“Charles Daniels and Menno van Delft talk about the Musicalisches Gesang-Buch G.C. Schemelli.”

Vocal texs

Original

Vergiss mein nicht,
vergiss mein nicht, mein allerliebster Gott.
Ach! höre doch mein Flehen,
ach! lass mir Gnad geschehen,
wenn ich hab Angst und Not,
du meine Zuversicht,
vergiss mein nicht, vergiss mein nicht.

Vergiss mein nicht,
vergiss mein nicht, ach! treibe fern von mir
des bösen Feindes Tücke,
ingleichen das Gelücke,
das mich nur trennt von dir,
du meines Lebens Licht,
vergiss mein nicht, vergiss mein nicht.

Vergiss mein nicht,
vergiss mein nicht, mein allerliebster Gott.
Vergib mir meine Sünden,
ach! lass mich Gnade finden,
so hat es keine Not,
wenn solche mich anficht,
vergiss mein nicht, vergiss mein nicht.

Vergiss mein nicht,
vergiss mein nicht, wenn mich die böse Welt
mit ihrer Bosheit plaget
und mir von Schätzen saget,
die sie doch nicht behält,
ich bin ihr nicht verpflicht',
vergiss mein nicht, vergiss mein nicht.

Vergiss mein nicht,
vergiss mein nicht, wenn itzt der herbe Tod
mir nimmt mein zeitlich Leben,
du kannst ein bessres geben,
mein allerliebster Gott;
hör, wenn dein Kind noch spricht:
Vergiss mein nicht, vergiss mein nicht!

Translation

Remember me,
Remember me, my most beloved God.
Oh! Listen to my pleading,
Oh! For grace interceding,
Here in my fear and need.
My only certainty:
Remember me, remember me.

Remember me,
Remember me, oh! from me drive away
The Devil’s fiendish scheming
Or any fortune, gleaming,
That could drive me astray.
The light of life indeed:
Remember me, remember me.

Remember me,
Remember me, my most beloved God,
Forgive me my all my sinning,
Your grace may I be winning,
Then nothing can distress
When troubles round me press,
Remember me, remember me.

Remember me,
Remember me, when this world where I live
Torments me with distortions
And whispers of the fortunes
That are not hers to give.
From her chains I am free,
Remember me, remember me.

Remember me,
Remember me, when bitter death comes near
And takes me from the living,
A better life you’re giving,
My God, of all most dear.
Hear your dear child’s plea:
Remember me, remember me.

translation © Ruth van Baak Griffioen, 2020

Credits

  • Release date
    9 August 2019
  • Recording date
    12 May 2018
  • Location
    Bartolotti House, Amsterdam
  • Tenor
    Charles Daniels
  • Viola da gamba
    Mieneke van der Velden
  • Theorbo
    Fred Jacobs
  • Director, camera and lights
    Gijs Besseling
  • Music redording
    Guido Tichelman, Bastiaan Kuijt
  • Music edit and mix
    Guido Tichelman
  • Camera, lights
    Nina Badoux
  • Camera and lighting assistant
    Eline Eestermans
  • Interview
    Onno van Ameijde, Marloes Biermans
  • Producer concert
    Marco Meijdam
  • Producer film
    Jessie Verbrugh
  • Acknowledgement
    Stichting Elise Mathilde Fonds
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