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The title of the cantata from which this aria has been extracted is "Schleicht, spielende Wellen, und murmelt gelinde." (Flow, playful waves, and murmur softly) The cantata was composed to celebrate the birthday of August III, Elector of Saxony and King of Poland from 1733 to 1763. (His birthday was October 17, 1696.) Apropos to the occasion, the four vocal soloists in this secular cantata represent four rivers in the territory governed by August III: the Elbe, which originates in Saxony and flows through Dresden to the North Sea; the Vistula, flowing northward through Poland; the Danube, flowing southest into the Black Sea; and the Pleisse, a small river which winds its way through Liepzig.
Transcribed by Martha RearickEnglish translation of original German text by Robert MacDonald 1986