If you had been a devout, that is to say normal, parishioner of the Lutheran Church in Leipzig, Germany on the above date you would have been exposed to what was to become JS Bach’s 66th Cantata entitled “Rejoice, All Ye Hearts”…..The above scriptures are what is tied to this date on the Lutheran liturgical calendar…..There is no direct link between the scriptures and the libretto of the cantata, instead the music conveys the inexpressible joy felt by the Christian on and after Resurrection Sunday…..Whenever Bach wanted to express “good vibrations” he inevitably did it in the key of D-major, the brightest of all keys…..What follows is a video with the words translated into English for each of the movements…..Rejoice…
Coro [SATB]: Rejoice you hearts, run away you sorrows, the Savior lives and rules in you. You can chase away the mourning, the fear, the anxious trembling, the Savior refreshes His spiritual kingdom.
Recitativo [B]: The grave is broken and with it our distress, the mouth proclaims God’s deeds; the Savior lives, so in distress and death all turns out perfectly well for believers.
Aria [B]: Let a song of thanks resound to the highest for his pity and everlasting faithfulness. Jesus appears to give us peace, Jesus calls us to live with him, every day his compassions is made new.
Recitative Dialog [Hope-T, Fear-A]: Hope – To be joyful in Jesus’ life is a bright ray of sunshine in our breast. Filled with comfort to look upon my Savior and to build within themselves a heavenly kingdom is the possession of true Christians. But since I have here a heavenly refreshment, my spirit seeks here its delight and rest. My Savior calls powerfully to me: “My grave and dying bring you life, my resurrection is my comfort.” Fear – No eye sees the Savior arisen. Hope – Death does not hold Him in its bonds. Fear – Death still holds him in its bonds. Hope – How can fear arise from any breast? Fear – Does the grave give us its death? Hope – If God lies in a grave, then the grave and death do not hold Him. Fear – Ah God, you who conquer death, for you the tombstones yields, the seal breaks. I believe, but help my weakness, you can make me stronger. Conquer me and my doubtful spirit. The God who works wonders, has strengthened my spirit through the might of his comfort so that it perceives the risen Jesus.
Duet [Hope-T, Fear-A]: Hope – I do not fear the grave’s darkness Fear – I fear indeed the grave’s darkness. Hope – and hoped that my Savior should not be torn away Fear – and mourned that my Savior should be torn away. Both: Now my heart is full of comfort, and if an enemy is infuriated I shall know how to conquer in God.
Choral [SATB]:Alleluia! Alleluia! Alleluia! For this we should all be joyful. Christ will be our comfort. Lord, have mercy.