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MUSIC Bach cantata BWV 82 – “Ich habe genung”


Maira Kalman ~ Ich Habe genung
1}, {2 : long, funny, clever and v. enjoyable to listen to}

Bach cantata BWV 82 – “Ich habe genung”

I have this Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau on cassette. It’s nice to be able to link to another version to make it a bit easier to play!  If you are still on dinky little speakers on your PC, go out and buy the most expensive HiFi speakers you can afford – three with a good base box is good: better still a 4-speaker system – and really get the full benefit of online music.


Re-listening to music seems to have its cycles like re-watching films.  Do our emotions run in looping underground currents without us knowing they are about to bubble to the surface? It can’t just be triggered a new event or some remembrance of an old one. Why do our favourites pop into consciousness at such regular intervals, as if without any observable prompting?

Even if it is happenstance, how nice to come across a favourite at just the right moment, and derive optimal plasure. And often more understanding of some music you thought you had the full measure of.

Though the words of Ich habe genung were not familar to me ( I usually re-check what the phrase means each time I re-listen, here is a translation: Cantata for the purification of Mary.

There is a mention in one place of Ich habe genung translating as “it is enough”.

If you don’t know German you can still make your own meaning from the emotional response to the sounds. I’m slightly disappointed the words don’t quite mean what I hoped they would.

With the aid of Babelfish translator it is possible to play with it  a bit.  Ist est genung? Est is genung.

Ich habe genug,

Sie habe genug,

Wir habe genug.

I have enough,
you have enough,
we have enough.

Ist es überhaupt genug?

Is it ever enough?

Wann ist genügend genug?

When is enough enough?

Ich kann genug nicht erhalten.

I can’ get enough.

Ich kann keine Zufriedenheit nicht erhalten.

I can’t get no…satisfaction.

Genug bereits! Genung. Bereits!

Enough already! Enough. Already?


Post development: Bach, translation, playing with the shape of words in a foreign language you don’t understand, the serependipituous discovery of a great cartoonist. Because the cartoonist begins, it might seem otherwise.


There is a cornucopia of similar song-stuff from this point in Youtube.

March 2, 2009 Posted by | Bach cantatas, Ich habe genung, Music | , , , , | Leave a comment