Wohl mir, dass ich Jesum habe (Jesus bleibet meine Freude -Jesu joy of man’s desiring) for flute quartet and strings


This arrangement follows Bach’s presumed intentions such that the dotted rhythms in the 2nd violin part of the original manuscript equal the triplet tempo of the first violin (as is always played in professional performances).
In order to make this clearer for performers, I have therefore set the whole piece in 9/8 tempo.
The original chorus is from the cantata”Herz und Mund und Tat und Leben”
BWV 147, which is a Cantata for the Ascension of Mary
The words are:
Wohl mir, daß ich Jesum habe,
O wie feste halt ich ihn,
Daß er mir mein Herze labe,
Wenn ich krank und traurig bin.
Jesum hab ich, der mich liebet
Und sich mir zu eigen gibet;
Ach drum laß ich Jesum nicht,
Wenn mir gleich mein Herze bricht.

Happy I, who have Jesus,
o how tightly I cling to Him,
so that He delights my heart
when I am sick and sad.
I have Jesus, who loves me
and gives Himself to me as my own;
ah, therefore I will not let go of Jesus,
even if my heart is breaking.