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J. S. Bach's Coffee Cantata

February 05, 2011

J. S. Bach's Coffee Cantata (Peasant Cantata)
''Schweigt stille, plaudert nicht'' BWV 211 - Final Chorus
Libretto by Christian Friedrich Henrici

This cantata, a short musical drama, was composed for performance by Bach's Collegium at Zimmerman's Coffee House, Leipzig, between 1732 & 1734. It is now brought to you by Café Zimmerman (Instrumental Ensemble, which is composed of six musicians - five bow instruments and a harpsichord).

Apparently Bach's love for coffee was well-known. It's reported that two of his prized possessions were two silver coffeepots.

Please enjoy the performance and if you want to know what they are singing, see the lyrics below. And have a cup from one of our German roasters below while you sit back and enjoy the cantata.



To see on youtube with comments and a link to more Bach works, go to http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bOaADFq9yOg

ENGLISH LYRICS

Recitative Narrator
Be quiet, stop chattering, and pay attention to what's taking place: here comes Herr Schlendrian with his daughter Lieschen; he's growling like a honey bear. Hear for yourselves, what she has done to him!

Aria - Schlendrian
Don't one's children cause one endless trials & tribulations! What I say each day to my daughter Lieschen falls on stony ground.

Recitative - Schlendrian
You wicked child, you disobedient girl, when will I get my way; give up coffee!

Lieschen
Father, don't be so severe! if I can't drink my bowl of coffee three times daily, then in my torment I will shrivel up like a piece of roast goat.

Aria - Lieschen
Mm! how sweet the coffee tastes, more delicious than a thousand kisses, mellower than muscatel wine. Coffee, coffee I must have, and if someone wishes to give me a treat, ah, then pour me out some coffee!

Recitative - Schlendrian
If you don't give up drinking coffee then you shan't go to any wedding feast, nor go out walking. oh! when will I get my way; give up coffee!

Lieschen
Oh well! Just leave me my coffee!

Schlendrian
Now I've got the little minx! I won't get you a whalebone skirt in the latest fashion.

Lieschen
I can easily live with that.

Schlendrian
You're not to stand at the window and watch people pass by!

Lieschen
That as well, only I beg of you, leave me my coffee!

Schlendrian
Furthermore, you shan't be getting any silver or gold ribbon for your bonnet from me!

Lieschen
Yes, yes! only leave me to my pleasure!

Schlendrian
You disobedient Lieschen you, so you go along with it all!

Aria - Schlendrian
Hard-hearted girls are not so easily won over. Yet if one finds their weak spot, ah! then one comes away successful.

Recitative - Schlendrian
Now take heed what your father says!

Lieschen
In everything but the coffee.

Schlendrian
Well then, you'll have to resign yourself to never taking a husband.

Lieschen
Oh yes! Father, a husband!

Schlendrian
I swear it won't happen.

Lieschen
Until I can forgo coffee? From now on, coffee, remain forever untouched! Father, listen, I won't drink any

Schlendrian
Then you shall have a husband at last!

Aria - Lieschen
Today even dear father, see to it! Oh, a husband! Really, that suits me splendidly! If it could only happen soon that at last, before I go to bed, instead of coffee I were to get a proper lover!

Recitative - Narrator
Old Schlendrian goes off to see if he can find a husband forthwith for his daughter Lieschen; but Leischen secretly lets it be known: no suitor is to come to my house unless he promises me, and it is also written into the marriage contract, that I will be permitted to make myself coffee whenever I want.

Trio
A cat won't stop from catching mice, and maidens remain faithful to their coffee. The mother holds her coffee dear, the grandmother drank it also, who can thus rebuke the daughters!



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