Mayr’s Cantata

Johann Simon Mayr (1763-1845) was a Bavarian composer, but quickly established himself in Italy. His main successes were his operas. In 1827, hearing of Beethoven’s death, he composed, and had played, this cantata. It would seem that it hasn’t been played since…


Weep, weep, harmony, weeping souls hear the mournful lament; your beloved is gone: Beethoven is no more.

Recitative for Bass

You disciples of the lonian virgins, with a pure heart compose a sad harmony to lament him. That swan, the lover of Euterpe, fell prey to the stygian arrow; an envious tomb already devours his fragile remains; and with solemn example of the proud Danube the wave sounds great mourning, echoing his praises.

Trio for Soprano, Tenor, and Bass

Divine poet, your profound genius wrote notes that astonished the world. Because of your hymns, now a worthier place and theme you shall have at the zenith of the firmament. The Thracian poet, with his sweet incantation at the first age conquered the cruel King of Averno. Now the blessed ones of eternal Olympus will interrupt their song to listen to you.

Recitative for tenor

But even if the excellent spirit returned to heaven, the light which emanated from him is not extinguished down here. The returning notes, with which he so magnificently glorified Cantabria and Britain, whose liberty in the camps of Victoria surrounded lost arms and envied laurels, disdain the shame of death.

Recitative for soprano

Again sounds on the ear, speaks to the ravished senses, the sweet chords of the soft melodies, in which he painted the peace and innocence of the hills and the forests.

Recitative for Bass

And in the solemn harmonies, from which he fashioned the chorus to the holy sacrifice that the grateful people of Christ adore, you hear all the arcane majesty of the purest religion. And the following generations will follow in the proud footsteps of [his] immortal genius to these founts of celestial harmony. They spur the generous heart of Pimplea’s disciples and illuminate the arduous path with their shining lights.

Final Chorus

In majestic canticles let the sound of the divine cithara be lifted up to heaven; recall its power! And upon the eternal vortices of those harmonious threads learn to enjoy the unequaled sound. To the giver of beautiful delights we offer a grateful heart; (Soli) And he shall live in our hearts And be forever immortal. (Tutti) ln majestic canticles let the sound be lifted up to heaven.