Break forth, O beauteous heavenly light

Break forth, O beauteous heavenly light. Johann Rist* (1607–1667), translated by John Troutbeck* (1832–1899).  The translation of this chorale was taken from the second part of the Christmas Oratorio (Weihnachts-Oratorium, BWV 248/2) by Johann Sebastian Bach*. It was through Troutbeck’s translation (1874) for Novello, Ewer, and Company that this translation made its way into English-language hymnals. The original German text was the ninth stanza of a twelve-stanza hymn, ‘Ermutre dich, mein schwacher Geist’ (‘Rouse yourself, my feeble spirit’), by Johann Rist, the first hymn in his Himlischer Lieder erstes Zehn (Lüneburg, 1641). The hymn appears in the section, ‘A Hymn of Praise on the...

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