On Jordan's banks (Max Bruch)

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  • (Posted 2012-03-06)  CPDL #25713:        (Sibelius 6)
Editor: Ian Haslam (submitted 2012-03-06).   Score information: A4, 5 pages, 70 kB   Copyright: CPDL
Edition notes:

General Information

Title: On Jordan's Bank / Arabiens Kameele
Composer: Max Bruch
Lyricist: George Gordon Byron

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

Languages: English, German
Instruments: Orchestra and Organ (ad lib.)

First published: c 1888, Leipzig [u.a.] : Breitkopf & Härtel {[u.a.], Text in dt. und engl.
Description: The Hebrew melodies were originally written by Byron and set to the music of traditional Jewish airs by Isaac Nathan. These airs are used by Bruch in his setting for chorus and orchestra (Quote from worldcat.org). The tune goes back to a old German folksong "So weiss ich eins, dass mich erfreut, das pluemlein auff preiter heyde". Details see [[1]] such as: The earliest transcription of the Jewish form of the tune is by Isaac Nathan, who set it (clumsily) to the poem "On Jordan's Banks" in Byron's "Hebrew Melodies" (London, 1815).

External websites:

Original text and translations

English.png English text

On Jordan's banks the Arabs' camels stray,
On Sion's hill the false one's votaries pray.
The Baal's adorer bows on Sinai's steep,
Yet there, even there, O God, thy thunders sleep!

There, where Thy finger scorch'd the tablet stone,
There, where Thy shadow to Thy people shone,
Thy glory shrouded in its garb of fire,
Thyself non living see and not expire!

O lightning let Thy glance appear
Sweep from his shiver'd hand the oppressor's spear!
How long by tyrants shall Thy land be trod?
Thy temple worshipless, O God!

German.png German text

Arabiens Kameele am Jordan zieh'n,
des Götzen Preis erschallet auf Zions Höhen;
am Sinai opfert der Prophet des Baal,
auch dort, mein Gott, dort schläft dein Donnerstrahl!

Dort wo deine Hand schrieb auf den glüh‘nden Stein,
dort wo dein Schatten vor dem Volke stand,
dein Flammenkleid verhüllte dein Licht,
dich selbst sehen o wer verginge nicht!

O fahr‘ im Blitz, Allmächtiger, fahr‘ im Blitz daher,
zerschmettre in des Drängers Hand den Speer!
wie lange soll dein Land des Fremdlings Spott
und opferlos dein Tempel sein, o Gott!