19 November 2009

One of my new favorites

from the Praetorius Christ-Mass:

Uns ist ein Kindlein heut geborn,
von einer Jungfraun auser korn,
ein wahrer Mensch und wahrer Gott,
daß er uns helf aus aller Not,
sein Nam ist Wunderbar und Rat,
durch ihn haben wir funden Gnad.

Was hätt uns Gott mehr können tun,
Denn daß er uns schenkt seinen Sohn,
Der von uns weggenommen hat,
All unser Sünd und Missetat,
Erlöst uns von der Sünd und Pein,
Darein wir sollten ewig sein.

Freu dich du werte Christenheit,
Und dank es Gott in Ewigkeit,
Haß aber alle Sünd und List,
Davon du teur erlöset bist,
Sei fortan gottfürchtig und rein,
Zu Ehren dem neugbornen Kindelein.

My rough English rendering:

To us is born a little Child
Of Virgin holy, meek, and mild;
He is true man and God in one,
To help us He to earth has come.
His name is Wondrous Prince of Peace
Through Him God’s grace shall never cease.

What more for us could God have done
Than sending us His own dear Son,
Who took away from us our sin
And all the sorrows of our kin,
Released us from the grief and shame
That was our due in hellish flame?

So joy, O Christian folk, this morn
And thank our God nor His love scorn,
But hate all sin and from it flee,
For great the price to set you free;
Be godly therefore and up-raise
To this young Child your songs of praise!


Chris said...

The Latin is even better, but I'm not biased or anything. :)

William Weedon said...

What IS the Latin for it? It is not Puer Natus in Bethlehem. I'm not familiar with a Latin original, but if there is one, I'd love to see it.

IggyAntiochus said...

I am glad you found the German! I couldn't pick out all the words from the youtube video (see link in "Listening to Pratorius"). Will work with y'all to track down the Latin.

IggyAntiochus said...

First of all, not the song I was thinking of in the video. I really need to find my CD and listen to it in its entirety.

Secondly, CDPL links this Latin text to Praetorius, but the German given on the site does not match the German in the linked music. I mean, the Latin has a refrain. One would think the German would also keep the refrain (sometimes just translating the verse and keeping the Latin refrain).

Stanza 1 seems to be fairly close. Perhaps Chris can verify if this is the Latin text he was thinking of.


1. Parvulus nobis nascitur
De virgine progreditur
Obquem laetantur Angeli
Gratulemur nos servuli.
Trinitati gloria
In sempiterna saecula.

2. Regem habemus gratiæ
Leonemque victoriæ
Unicum Dei filium
Lustrantem omne sæculum,
Trinitati gloria, etc.

3. Ut redderet Deo caros
Nos a morte liberos
Sanaret sæva vulnera
Draconis fact’ astitia,
Trinitati gloria, etc.

4. Huic omnes infantulo
Concinite mellifluo,
Jacenti in presepio
Vili prostrato lectulo,
Trinitati gloria, etc.


1. Uns ist ein Kind heut geborn
Einer Jungfraun aus erkorn
Des freuen sich di Engelein
Sollten wir Menschn
Nit fröhlich sein.
Lob und dank sei Gott bereit
Für solche Gnad in Ewigkeit.

2. Des Weibes Samen habn wir nun
Des ewgen Vaters wahren Sohn
Der Schöpfer aller Kreatur
Nimmt an sich unsr sterblich Natur
Lob und Dank, usw.

3. Damit er uns erlöst vom Tod
Und wiederbrächt zu Gnad bei Gott
Und heilt den giftgen Schlangenbiß
Den wir bekamn im Paradies
Lob und Dank, usw.

4. Drum preiset dieses Kindelein
Mit allen heilgen Engelein
Welchs freundlich aus seinn Windelein
Uns lachet an im Krippelein
Lob und Dank, usw.


The recording is available at the link below. Please enjoy "Wie Schon Leuchtet" with organ and then choir, followed by "Uns Ist Ein Kindlein..." at the tail end.


Matt Carver (Matthaeus Glyptes) said...

Here is Kümmerle's detailed history about the melody for Parvulus nobis / Uns ist ein Kindlein:


William Weedon said...


Do you really think that's the Latin? It's not terribly close to the German on the recording, and the fifth line has only seven syllables, no? The German you provided also has only seven, but the German from the Praetorius Mass is definitely

William Weedon said...

Thank you, Matt. I love the internet! I've been playing it and that, of course, is exactly what was in the recording!!!

Matt Carver (Matthaeus Glyptes) said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Matt Carver (Matthaeus Glyptes) said...

Here's a quick translation of that German lyric from CPDL (note the extrapolation in the last phrase, compared with the Latin):

1. To us this day is born a child
By Mary, virgin undefiled,
For whom the angels all rejoice
Should not we men lift up our voice?
Thanks to God and glory be
For all His grace eternally.

2. Lo, now we have the woman’s Seed,
The Father’s very Son indeed,
Creator of the earth and sky
Is come in flesh for us to die,
Thanks to God and glory be
For all His grace eternally.

3. From death He thus redeems our race,
Restores us to the Father’s grace
And heals the poisoned serpent’s bite,
Since Paradise our deadly plight;
Thanks to God and glory be
For all His grace eternally.

4. So worship now with angels pure
This little Child, our King and Cure,
Who in His manger laid to rest
Sends us His cheer and makes us blest.
Thanks to God and glory be
For all His grace eternally.

IggyAntiochus said...

It's curious that the Latin clearly references the Trinity in it's refrain and the CDPL German was is simply "God."

Secondly, even at midnight last night the Latin didn't seem to gel with the German that Fr. Weedon provided. I offered the CDPL texts for discussion, noting that they linked it to the Praetorius version.

As to the meter, sometimes it is not retained in a translation if there is no intention of mating it to the existing tune.

In the unique case of "Ein Feste Burg" we have two meters to the same tune, and the tune and meter get altered somewhere around the 6th line.

I can't make out the German script from Kümmerle. If my German is rusty, my German script is rusted through and needs a new hood. I do see from the musical notation provided that we are dealing with different tunes. However, I cannot tell what Kümmerle's correlation is.

William Weedon said...

What I picked up from the German was that it was a rendering of the same piece, originally set to Vater Unser and still also sung to this tune, but that the setting in Praetorius came from a Calvinist Psalm Tone and is the same as we know as "Ach Bleib" but with the first two lines repeated. There was another tune provided as well, but I didn't recognize it at all. Yet the German is clearly a MEGA loose paraphrase of that Latin.

William Weedon said...

P.S. What a treasury of music God has given the Church! What joy it contains!

IggyAntiochus said...

A definite treasury, regardless of the language or translation!

I believe Kümmerle's book is in public domain, given its age and that Google allowed me to download it free in PDF form.

From the PDF, I was able to create a single PDF of the Parvulus nobis / Uns ist ein Kindlein music.

At least I can pluck out the tunes at the piano!

J.G.F. said...

I've been listening to it all week also. The Praetorius Christ Mass and the iTouch go well together!

Another little gem that I found is that if you have XM or Sirus, there is a "Holiday Pops" channel. It activates on Thanksgiving. Last year the majority of the music was Sacred, including the Christmas Oratorio, Messiah, Bach's Magnificat, a lot of stuff from Stephen Cleobury, and they even had a choir singing "E'en So, Lord Jesus.." by Manz. Check it out if you're wired for space communication in your vehicle.