In my extreme haste to post this cantata , Wachtet auf, by Bach, only because I want to post it, I am going to say very little about it. It is from a Lutheran hymn written by Phillip Nicolai in 1598.  Several musicians have set it to music, including Johann Sebastian Bach (March 31, 1685 – July 28, 1750) . His birthdate varies on whether you use the old style (that is, Julian) or new style (Gregorian) calendars.  Bach wrote a cantata to the hymn called Wachet auf, ruft uns die Stimme, BWV 140.  It is truly wonderful, although I have a hard time finding oratorio singers whom I can listen to.  I am posting the two choruses from this cantata.  The choruses are very famous.  I am posting the words to the first chorus.  If anyone asks, I will post the words to the second chorus.  These excerpts are from Helmut Rilling’s recording with the Bach-Collegium Stuttgart.

Chorus 1

Chorus 2

 The words to the first chorus are:

Deutsch Englisch
Wachet auf, ruft uns die Stimme, Wake, arise, the voices call us
der Wächter sehr hoch auf der Zinne, Of watchmen from the lofty tower


wach auf, du Stadt Jerusalem. Arise, thou town Jerusalem!
Mitternacht heißt diese Stunde, Midnight’s hour doth give its summons;
sie rufen uns mit hellem Munde, They call to us with ringing voices;
wo seid ihr klugen Jungfrauen? Where are ye prudent virgins now?
Wohlauf, der Bräut’gam kömmt, Make haste, the bridegroom comes;
steht auf, die Lampen nehmt, Rise up and take your lamps!
Alleluia! Alleluia!
Macht euch bereit Prepare to join
zu der Hochzeit The wedding feast,
, ihr müsset ihm entgegen gehn.


Go forth to meet him as he comes!