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RC 93 Ergo bibamus (“Hier sind wir versammelt zu löblichen Thun”)

text source

Goethe’s Gedichte I (Stuttgart: J.G. Cotta 1868), 85-86

publications

  • Fünf Gesänge nach Goethe für gemischten Chor ohne Begleitung Noske, A.A. 22771359
  • Fünf Gesänge nach Goethe für gemischten Chor ohne Begleitung (reprint) Donemus 13410499

  • Ergo bibamus (“Hier sind wir versammelt zu löblichen Thun”)
  • Goethe, Johann Wolfgang von
  • vocal quartet
  • 1908-11-23 00:00:00.0
  • duration 2:40

During the preparations for the concerts in October 1908 at which Gerard Zalsman and his quartet of soloists were to premiere Diepenbrock’s Gleich zu Gleich (Like to Like, RC 85), Wandrers Nachtlied (Wanderer’s Night Song, RC 86) and Auf dem See (On the Lake, RC 87), Zalsman asked the composer to write a ‘drinking song’ that could serve as an encore. Diepenbrock immediately started reworking a setting of Goethe’s Ergo bibamus for male choir he had made in 1884. (BD VI:59) The first attempt, dated 11 October, was notated spread out over several pages of sketchbook C-9, which he was using in 1908. It is interspersed with sketches of the song Celebrität (Celebrity, RC 91), on which he then focused all his attention. He did not return to Ergo bibamus until a month later: the neat copy B-11(8) dates from 23 November 1908. …more >

Ergo bibamus (incipit)


During the preparations for the concerts in October 1908 at which Gerard Zalsman and his quartet of soloists were to premiere Diepenbrock’s Gleich zu Gleich (Like to Like, RC 85), Wandrers Nachtlied (Wanderer’s Night Song, RC 86) and Auf dem See (On the Lake, RC 87), Zalsman asked the composer to write a ‘drinking song’ that could serve as an encore. Diepenbrock immediately started reworking a setting of Goethe’s Ergo bibamus for male choir he had made in 1884. (BD VI:59) The first attempt, dated 11 October, was notated spread out over several pages of sketchbook C-9, which he was using in 1908. It is interspersed with sketches of the song Celebrität (Celebrity, RC 91), on which he then focused all his attention. He did not return to Ergo bibamus until a month later: the neat copy B-11(8) dates from 23 November 1908.

Diepenbrock did not hear from Zalsman for a few weeks, so he concluded that the piece was not needed for the time being. In December he sent the manuscript to his friend W.G. Hondius van den Broek in order to discuss it. In the accompanying letter Diepenbrock mentioned that of the original version for male choir – that old thing as he called it – not a single note remains, only the 1st motive, and even that has been changed.  A few alterations were indeed made to the theme, as we can see from a comparison of the sketchbook and the neat copy: originally the third note was also a d and the punctuated rhythms of mm. 2-3 have substituted the quavers. The march tempo that is explicitly indicated in the sketch of 11 October 1908, has been replaced by Allegro moderato. However, the notation suggests that Diepenbrock’s Ergo bibamus should be sung pretty much in time. Overall the piece is syllabic; only in the last “Ergo bibamus” all the voices have a melisma. There are also remarkably few modulations.

The date of the first performance has not been documented.

Ton Braas



Ergo bibamus !

Hier sind wir versammelt zu löblichem Tun,
Drum, Brüderchen, Ergo bibamus!
Die Gläser, sie klingen, Gespräche, sie ruh,
Beherziget Ergo bibamus!
Das heißt noch ein altes, ein tüchtiges Wort:
Es passet zum ersten und passet so fort,
Und schallet ein Echo vom festlichen Ort,
Ein herrliches Ergo bibamus!

Ich hatte mein freundliches Liebchen gesehn,
Da dacht’ ich mir: Ergo bibamus!
Und nahte mich freundlich, da ließ sie mich stehn;
Ich half mir und dachte: Bibamus!
Und wenn sie versöhnet euch herzet und küßt,
Und wenn ihr das Herzen und küssen vermißt,
So bleibet nur, bis ihr was Besseres wißt,
Beim tröstlichen Ergo bibamus!

Mich ruft mein Geschick von den Freunden hinweg;
Ihr redlichen! Ergo bibamus!
Ich scheide von hinnen mit leichtem Gepäck,
Drum doppelts Ergo bibamus!
Und was auch der Filz von dem Leibe sich schmorgt,
So bleibt für den Heitern doch immer gesorgt,
Weil immer dem Frohen der Fröhliche borgt;
Drum, Brüderchen! Ergo bibamus!

Was sollen wir sagen zum heutigen Tag?
Ich dächte nur: Ergo bibamus!
Er ist nun einmal von besonderem Schlag,
Drum immer aufs neue: Bibamus!
Er führet die Freude durch’s offene Thor,
Es glänzen die Wolken, es teilt sich der Flor,
Da leuchtet ein Bildchen, ein göttliches, vor!
Wir klingen und singen: Bibamus!

Therefore We Drink !

Here be we gathered in a worthy cause,
Therefore, little brother, ergo bibamus!
The glasses clink, the talk grows warm;
Say a heartfelt: ergo bibamus!
Call forth an old, a fitting phrase,
That suited of old and suits us now,
And raise an echo through the jolly old town,
A splendid: ergo bibamus!

I went to my lovely darling,
She said to me: Ergo bibamus!
As she snuggled closer to keep me beside her,
I thought yet again: bibamus!
When hearts are in harmony and kissing reigns,
Or when hearts and kisses are gone,
One can always find good refuge
In a comforting Ergo bibamus!

My friend tells me all I need to know,
In his forthright, ergo bibamus!
I depart on my way unburdened by care,
Therefore say again: ergo bibamus!
And if you would bitterness drain from your being,
No matter how heavy and constant your woes,
Ever borrow the joyful way of the happy:
Therefore, little brother: ergo bibamus!

What ought we to say in the present day?
Why, only: ergo bibamus!
It is now the time for extraordinary doings,
Therefore we say anew: ergo bibamus!
Onward, friends, through the open door,
The sky shines bright on every flower,
O bright picture of a glorious time,
We clink glasses and sing: bibamus!

 


  • B-11(8) Ergo bibamus

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    B-11(8) dated on the first and last pages 23 Nov 1908

    • 1908-11-23 00:00:00.0
    • location: Diepenbrock Archief Laren
    • pages: 8

  • Fünf Gesänge nach Goethe für gemischten Chor ohne Begleitung

    1923 Noske, A.A.
  • Fünf Gesänge nach Goethe für gemischten Chor ohne Begleitung (reprint)

    1980 Donemus