That Dieterich Buxtehude was one of the great composers and musicians of his day was doubted by no one, his appointment as Franz Tunder’s (±1614–1667) successor as Organist of the Marienkirche, in Lubeck was ample proof of the esteem in which his contemporaries held him. His fellow musicians most famously Handel in 1703 and Bach in 1705 travelled from afar to meet the master and to listen to his playing. His vocal works survive in greater number than either his keyboard or his ensemble works and are hugely diverse in their texts, scoring, genres, compositional styles and length. His setting of the first three verses of the second chapter of the Song of Songs uses word-painting to great effect to produce an effect of peace and beauty. There are long vocal melismas on the first syllables of ‘Saron’ and ‘Rose’ and low notes depicting the valley (‘Tal’). I particularly like how Buxtehude shares the melody throughout the cantata sometimes the voice has it but at other times for instance during the canzona at the words ‘so ist mei freunde unter den Töchtern’ it doubles the continuo’s bass line. Buxtehude also used change of colour to get the results I like how he does it at ‘Ich sitz unter dem Schatten‘ from which point organ and voice combine as one to enter into dialogue with the stringed instruments. It’s sung below by Arcadia directed by Jacqueline Ogeil. Enjoy :-).
Text & Translation: Ich bin eine Blume zu Saron
|Deutsch||English (Douay-Rheims)||English (King james Version)|
|Ich bin ein Blumen zu Saron und Rose im Tal.|
Wie eine Rose unter den Dornen
|I am the flower of the field, and the lily of the valleys.||I am the rose of Sharon, and the lily of the valleys.|
|so ist mein Freundin unter den Töchtern.||As the lily among thorns, so is my love among the daughters.||As the lily among thorns, so is my love among the daughters.|
|Wie ein Apfelbaum unter den Wilden Bäumen so ist mein Freund unter den Söhnen||As the apple tree among the trees of the woods, so is my beloved among the sons.||As the apple tree among the trees of the wood, so is my beloved among the sons.|
|.Ich sitz unter dem Schatten, des ich begehre,|
und seine Frucht ist meiner Kehlen süße.
|I sat down under his shadow, whom I desired: and his fruit was sweet to my palate.||I sat down under his shadow with great delight, and his fruit was sweet to my taste.|