Ich bin vergnügt mit meinem Glücke

Ich bin vergnügt mit meinem Glücke

Ich bin vergnügt mit meinem Glücke performed by Maria Keohane and the Netherlands Bach Society
conducted by Fabio Bonizzoni
Walloon Church, Amsterdam

  • Intro
  • 1. Ich bin vergnügt (Aria)
  • 2. Gott ist mir (Recitative)
  • 3. Ich esse mit Freuden (Aria)
  • 4. Im Schweisse (Recitative)
  • 5. Ich leb indes (Chorale)

Behind the music

Story
Story
Extra videos
Extra videos
Texts
Texts
Credits
Credits

A mysterious change

Why did Bach replace the word ‘Stand’ with ‘Glücke’?

In this solo cantata, the oboe and soprano express their joy. It is one of the few pieces referred to by Bach himself as a ‘cantata’. The text originates from one of the collections by Bach’s regular lyricist, Christian Friedrich Henrici, who wrote under the pseudonym of Picander. However, Bach changed his first line. Picander wrote ‘Ich bin vergnügt mit meinem Stand’, which Bach changed to 'Glücke'. This change prompted conductor John Eliot Gardiner to speculate. In his book on Bach, Music in the Castle of Heaven, he describes how Bach was obsessed by status and is supposed to have often felt misunderstood. Could this be a reason for Bach finding it hard to set words to music about how satisfied he was with his ‘position’ and thus changing the text to ‘Glücke’? Possibly. Another theory is that reconciling oneself to social position (not getting ideas above your station) was probably too anti-revolutionary for Bach, and ‘Glücke’ was therefore more suitable.
Whatever the case, the words and the music are undeniably in the service of God. ‘Ich esse mit Freude mein wenige Brot’, sings the soprano contentedly, in the knowledge that she has nothing to demand of God.

BWV
84
Title
Ich bin vergnügt mit meinem Glücke
Instrument
Soprano
Genre
cantatas
Year
1727
City
Leipzig
Text
Christian Friedrich Henrici (alias Picander)
Occasion
Septuagesima Sunday
First performance
probably 9 February 1727

Extra videos

Conductor Fabio Bonizzoni

“Conductor Fabio Bonizzoni explains why Bach's music offers consolation.”

Vocal texs

Original

1. Arie 
Ich bin vergnügt mit meinem Glücke,
das mir der liebe Gott beschert.
Soll ich nicht reiche Fülle haben,
so dank ich ihm vor kleine Gaben
und bin auch nicht derselben wert.

2. Rezitativ
Gott ist mir ja nichts schuldig,
und wenn er mir was gibt,
so zeigt er mir, dass er mich liebt;
ich kann mir nichts bei ihm verdienen,
denn was ich tu, ist meine Pflicht.
Ja! wenn mein Tun 
gleich noch so gut geschienen,
so hab ich doch nichts Rechtes ausgericht'.
Doch ist der Mensch so ungeduldig,
dass er sich oft betrübt,
wenn ihm der liebe Gott nicht überflüssig gibt.
Hat er uns nicht so lange Zeit
umsonst ernähret und gekleidt
und will uns einsten seliglich
in seine Herrlichkeit erhöhn?
Es ist genug vor mich,
Dass ich nicht hungrig darf zu Bette gehn.

3. Arie
Ich esse mit Freuden mein weniges Brot
und gönne dem Nächsten
von Herzen das Seine.
Ein ruhig Gewissen, ein fröhlicher Geist,
ein dankbares Herze, das lobet und preist,
vermehret den Segen, verzuckert die Not.

4. Rezitativ
Im Schweisse meines Angesichts
will ich indes mein Brot geniessen,
und wenn mein Lebenslauf,
mein Lebensabend wird beschliessen,
so teilt mir Gott den Groschen aus,
da steht der Himmel drauf.
O! wenn ich diese Gabe
zu meinem Gnadenlohne habe,
so brauch ich weiter nichts.

5. Choral
Ich leb indes in dir vergnüget
und sterb ohn alle Kümmernis,
mir genüget, wie es mein Gott füget,
ich glaub und bin es ganz gewiss:
durch deine Gnad und Christi Blut
machst du's mit meinem Ende gut.


Translation

1. Aria
I am content with my good fortune,
that dear God bestows on me.
Though I do not have abundant riches
I thank Him for simple favours
and do not merit even these.

2. Recitative
God, indeed, owes me nothing,
and when He bestows a gift on me
He shows His love for me;
I can earn nothing in His service,
for what I do is my duty.
Indeed, however good my actions have seemed,
I have done nothing that is worthy.
Yet man is so impatient
that he is often sad
if God does not shower him
with gifts.
Has He not through all these years
nourished and clothed us for nothing,
and will one day exalt us
before His majesty?
It is enough for me?
that I do not go hungry to bed.

3. Aria
I eat my meagre bread with joy,?
and do not begrudge
my neighbour his. ?
A clear conscience, a happy spirit,
a thankful heart that lauds and praises,
?increases blessing, sweetens affliction.

4. Recitative
In the sweat of my countenance
I shall meanwhile savour my bread,
and when my life’s course,
my life’s evening draws to a close,
then God will give me the coin
on which heaven is inscribed.
Ah, when I have this favour
as my reward of mercy,
I shall need nothing more.

5. Chorale
I live meanwhile content in Thee,
and die, all sorrow laid aside.
I am satisfied whatever God decrees;
I believe, and am quite certain:
through Thy grace and Christ’s own blood,
Thou shalt see that my life ends well.


Credits

  • Release date
    14 August 2015
  • Recording date
    17 January 2015
  • Location
    Walloon Church, Amsterdam
  • Conductor and organ
    Fabio Bonizzoni
  • Soprano
    Maria Keohane
  • Alto
    Barnabás Hegyi
  • Tenor
    Robert Buckland
  • Bass
    Matthias Winckhler
  • Violin 1
    Shunske Sato, Pieter Affourtit, Anneke van Haaften
  • Violin 2
    Sayuri Yamagata, Paulien Kostense, Annelies van der Vegt
  • Viola
    Staas Swierstra, Jan Willem Vis
  • Cello
    Lucia Swarts, Richte van der Meer
  • Double bass
    Robert Franenberg
  • Oboe
    Martin Stadler, Peter Frankenberg, Yongcheon Shin
  • Bassoon
    Benny Aghassi
  • Church organ
    Leo van Doeselaar
  • Concert production
    Erik van Lith, Marco Meijdam
  • Producer
    Frank van der Weij
  • Film director
    Joost Honselaar
  • Director of photography
    Simon Aarden
  • Camera
    Simon Aarden, Ruben van den Broeke, Jorrit Garretsen, Benjamin Sparschuh, Indy Hamid
  • Film editor
    Joost Honselaar
  • Music recording producer
    Leo de Klerk
  • Gaffer
    Zen Bloot
  • Production assistant
    Zoë de Wilde
  • Score reader
    Niek Wijns
  • Make up
    Marloes Bovenlander, Jamila el Bouch
  • Camera assistant
    Izak de Dreu
  • Best boy
    Jur Oster
  • Music recording assistants
    Jaap Firet, Jaap van Stenis, Bobby Verbakel
  • Music edit and mix
    Leo de Klerk, Frank van der Weij
  • Music edit and mix assistant
    Nina Kraszewska
  • Colorist
    Jef Grosfeld
  • Interview
    Gijs Besseling, Kasper Koudenburg
  • Acknowledgements
    Nienke Meuleman
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