All of Bach: a project by the Netherlands Bach Society

Liebster Jesu, mein Verlangen

BWV 32 performed by Monika Mauch, Stephan MacLeod and the Netherlands Bach Society conducted by Jos van Veldhoven.
St. Martin's Church, Groningen

Soprano Monika Mauch and bass Stephan MacLeod on the different roles they play in this cantata.

All’s well that ends well

Bach celebrates the happy ending in an almost rustic dance.

In this delicate and tender cantata, the soul enters into dialogue with Jesus. The associated gospel text is about the twelve-year-old Jesus, who escapes his parents and is only found several days later in the temple, in deep conversation with wise men. In the first aria, the oboe and soprano embrace one another in an intense, sorrowful lamentation. You feel the despair of Mary herself, and her search can be seen as a metaphor for the errant soul. This becomes even more apparent when the answer to her questions comes not from the little Jesus she is searching for, but the adult Christ. In Christ’s lyrical aria, Bach illustrates God’s comfort with a virtuoso violin part. Then Jesus and the soul find one another, which is celebrated by the soprano in an arioso of gratitude. Together, they burst into a relieved ‘Nun verschwinden alle Plagen’. Bach casts this section in the mould of a familiar dance, a gavotte, to which the oboe and especially the jubilant violins make a strong contribution. After this ‘finale’, Bach added a dignified and careful ending, which he based on the hymn ‘Weg, mein Herz, mit den Gedanken’.


Liebster Jesu, mein Verlangen

cantata (dialogue cantata)



Georg Christian Lehms, 1711

First Sunday after Trinity

First performance
13 January 1726

Cast & Crew

release date 29 January 2016
recording date 26 September 2015
Location St. Martin's Church, Groningen
Conductor Jos van Veldhoven
Soprano Monika Mauch
alto Maarten Engeltjes
tenor João Moreira
bass Stephan MacLeod
VIOLIN 1 Shunske Sato, Annabelle Ferdinand, Anneke van Haaften, Annelies van der Vegt
VIOLIN 2 Sayuri Yamagata, Pieter Affourtit, Paulien Kostense
VIOLA Staas Swierstra, Deirdre Dowling
cello Lucia Swarts, Richte van der Meer
DOUBLE BASS Robert Franenberg
OBOE Martin Stadler
BASSOON Benny Aghassi
harpsichord Siebe Henstra
organ Leo van Doeselaar
MUSIC RECORDING PRODUCERS Guido Tichelman, Bastiaan Kuijt, Micha de Kanter
Music EDITor Guido Tichelman
CAMERA Jorrit Garretsen, Bart Ten Harkel, Chris Reichgelt, Jochem Timmerman
GAFFER Daan de Boer, Gijs 't Hoen
Score reader Niek Wijns
data handler Niels Cnossen
Editor Pjotr 's Gravesande
project manager Marco Korzelius
concert Production Marco Meijdam, Imke Deters
ProducER Jessie Verbrugh
interview Onno van Ameijde

Vocal Texts


1. Arie

Liebster Jesu, mein Verlangen,
sage mir, wo find' ich dich?
Soll ich dich so bald verlieren
und nicht ferner bei mir führen?
Ach! mein Hort, erfreue mich,
lass dich höchst vergnügt umfangen.

2. Rezitativ

Was ist's, dass ihr mich gesuchet?
Weisst du nicht,
dass ich sein muss in dem,
das meines Vaters ist?

3. Arie

Hier, in meines Vaters Stätte,
Find't mich ein betrübter Geist.
Da kannst du mich sicher finden
und dein Herz mit mir verbinden,
weil dies meine Wohnung heisst.

4. Rezitativ

Ach!, heiliger und grosser Gott,
so will ich mir denn hier, bei dir,
beständig Trost und Hilfe suchen.
Wirst du den Erdentand verfluchen
und nur in diese Wohnung geh'n,
so kannst du hier und dort besteh'n.
Wie lieblich ist doch deine Wohnung,
Herr, starker Zebaoth!
Mein Geist verlangt nach dem,
was nur in deinem Hofe prangt;
mein Leib und Seele freuet sich
in dem lebend'gen Gott.
Ach, Jesu! meine Brust
liebt dich nun ewiglich.
So kannst du glücklich sein,
wenn Herz und Geist
aus Liebe gegen mich entzündet heisst.
Ach! dieses Wort, das itzo schon
mein Herz aus Babels Grenzen reisst,
fass' ich mir andachtsvoll
in meiner Seele ein.

5. Duett

Nun verschwinden alle Plagen,
nun verschwindet Ach und Schmerz.
Nun will ich nicht von dir lassen!
Und ich dich auch stets umfassen!
Nun vergnüget sich mein Herz,
und kann voller Freude sagen:
Seele, Jesus
Nun verschwinden alle Plagen,
nun verschwindet  Ach und Schmerz!

6. Choral

Mein Gott, öffne mir die Pforten
solcher Gnad' und Gütigkeit,
lass mich allzeit aller Orten
schmecken deine Süssigkeit!
Liebe mich und treib' mich an,
dass ich dich, so gut ich kann,
wiederum umfang' und liebe
und ja nun nicht mehr betrübe.


1. Aria

Beloved Jesus, my desire,
tell me, where shall I find Thee?
Shall I so quickly lose Thee
and no longer feel Thee by me?
Ah! my refuge, gladden me,
be embraced with utmost joy.

2. Recitative

How is it that ye sought me?
Wist ye not
that I must be about
my Father’s business?

3. Aria

Here, within my Father’s dwelling,
may a troubled spirit discover me.
You can most surely find me there
and bind your heart to mine,
for this is called my dwelling.

4. Recitative

Ah! holy and mighty God,
thus shall I seek from Thee
constant help and consolation.
If you curse worldly trifles
and enter this dwelling alone,
you can fare well both here and there.
How amiable is Thy dwelling,
Lord, mighty Sabaoth;
my spirit longs for that which
shines only in Thy court.
My body and soul
are joyful in the living God:
Ah! Jesus, it is only
Thee my heart loves forever.
You can be happy,
if heart and soul are kindled
out of love for me.
Ah! these words that already
tear my heart from Babel’s borders,
I shall reverently
engrave in my soul.

5. Duet

Now vanish all torments,
now vanish all grief and distress.
Now shall I never leave Thee,
and I shall always embrace you.
My heart is now contented
and can say with gladness:
Soul, Jesus
Now vanish all torments,
now vanish all grief and distress!

6. Chorale

My God, open for me the gates
of such grace and goodness,
let me at all times and in all places
savour Thy sweetness!
Love me and lead me on,
that I may as best I can
embrace and love Thee too
and no more be sad.


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