Dieterich Buxtehude (±1637-1707): An filius non est Dei, BuxWV 6

An filius non est Dei (Is He not truly God’s own Son?) is a Passiontide cantata if you trace the text Buxtehude used back to its origins you’ll find it comes from the Medieval hymn Salve mundi salutare  – also known as the Rhythmica oratio, which is the Passiontide poem that Buxtehude used in his cantata cycle Membra Jesu nostri, BuxWV 75. There’s another link to that cantata cycle in the way that Buxtehude evokes the Passiontide atmosphere using strings (three violas da gamba and continuo). His poignant use of harmonies and the sharp key of B minor denote the pain of the Crucifixion while the sighing figures of the vocal strophes and the tremolos that end each ritornello add to mood of pious melancholy.

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Text &Translation: An filius non est Dei

(Sonata)(Sonata)

An filius non est Dei,
fons gratiae salus rei,
tormenta cui per impia
sunt ossa tralucentia,
crucis via.

Is He not truly God’s own Son?
The font of grace, the sinner’s boon;
our sins inflicted torments sore
on bones now shining on the floor
of the way of the cross.

Quin immo Jesus est meus,
in cujus inspecto latus,
ex quo merum mel pro fluit,
quod quicquid in nos irruit,
mox destruit.

Jesus is mine for evermore.
Into His wound I gaze with awe,
whence sweetest honey copious springs
which all that danger to us brings
destruction

(Ritornello)(Ritornello)

Salveto, fons purissime,
ex quo relucet maxime
vis charitatis florida,
vitae scatebra limpida,
vis vivida.

Hail, gracious fountain bright,
resplendent with abundant light.
Love’s blossoming power, strong and fair,
life’s limpid force out-pouring there,
full of life.

(Ritornello)(Ritornello)

O rima nobilissima,
o vena quam dulcissima,
admitte, quae do, basia
et corda sana saucia
per omnia!

Oh wound of high nobility,
oh vein of sweetest sanctity,
pray let me kiss You, kneel before You,
hearts, hale or wounded, all adore You
for ever!

(Ritornello)(Ritornello)

Tu nectar es verissimum,
tu pharmacum certissimum.
Me recreas vel millies,
quum fundo calda in dies,
Jesu, preces.

True nectar, healer, good and kind,
sure remedy for the troubled mind.
How oft have You my soul restored
when fervent prayers to You have soared,
my Jesus.

Longe sapor dulcissime,
panisque coelestissime,
amore praemori volo.
Quicunque te gustat solo,
regnat polo.

Sweet perfume, sent to us from heaven,
celestial bread, to sinners given,
for love of Thee I’d gladly die.
Whoever senses Thee on high
shall triumph.

Amen.Amen.

Derived from Rhythmica oratio attributed
Arnulph von Löwen (1200–1251)

 
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