Ode to the Seasons (and to Change) (Johann Sebastian Bach)

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Editor: Eva Toller (submitted 2003-10-26).   Score information: A4, 12 pages, 517 kB   Copyright: Personal
Edition notes: Instrumental parts from 'Jesu bleibet meine Freude', midi files available for each part.
Arranger: Eva Toller

General Information

Title: Ode to the Seasons (and to Change)
Composer: Johann Sebastian Bach
Lyrics: Eva Toller

Number of voices: 4vv   Voicing: SATB
Genre: SecularPartsong

Language: English
Instruments: A cappella

First published:

Description:

External websites:

Original text and translations

English.png English text

Spring is approaching and with it comes beauty like green leaves, the fragrance of flowers;
the wet earth is smelling of life,
and the sun starts to warm up all deep frozen souls;
it’s the time for awakening, and it’s the season for lovers;
the butterflies play in the grass, and the birds of all colours are singing.

Summer is next, and it brings a fulfillment with deepening green,
and with azure blue skies;
the sweet summer rain showers are freshening,
and all the flowers of summer are standing in bloom;
all their colours are sparkling in red, blue, and yellow;
the fields they are ripening with every crop.
Now and then there are powerful thunderstorms clearing the air,
and the nights are so bright,
and the mornings are warm with the grass full of dew;
hear the crickets at nightfall.

Autumn is here, but it is not a season of death;
it’s the time for maturing; the apples are blushing, the harvest is due;
now the air has that crystal clear feeling, so fresh you cold drink it;
the moon is now shining so white, like a jewel,
and wild birds are migrating south;
now we soon will be resting and sleeping.
Now time comes for winter with stillness and white cold,
and glistening snow under stars with a beauty that tears you apart;
we go skating on hard frozen lakes,
and we light a warm fire in the dark winter evenings,
preparing to wake up in spring, when the snow will be melting and swelling the rivers,
whose ice will be cracking, whose water will sing when cascading and tumbling in waterfalls down.

Thus, we have circled a year yet again, and the seasons go ‘round and around in eternity;
and to appreciate summer you must have a winter;
to ripen the seeds from the spring, there are summer and autumn.
To let all the creatures and plants have a rest from the frenzy of summer,
the winter comes quietly and soothing to put a cool balm on our wounds.
It’s diversity that gives excitement, and helps us to see that our lives can be changeable, too;
that we will not be doomed to stagnation;
and also that our human race is constantly developing still;
and that Earth will continue to change like it already has for some billions of years,
‘til at last, when the Sun has burned out and when Earth disappears with it;
where will we be?
Will we also be changed into stardust, or will we be travelling far, far away,
and discovering new stars and planets with seasons like spring?