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J. S. Bach: Bist Du Bei Mir

Today’s Song of the Day features one of my all-time favorites, again by J.S.Bach. I’ve been re-reading John Eliot Gardiner’s Bach: Music in the Castle of Heaven with much pleasure. Do yourself a favor and read it. This is from Anna Magdalena’s Notebook—things she wrote down for herself and her many kids. It voices the beautiful wish that at death, one’s beloved is with them, and that they can gently go into that good night of the other world. “Es drueckten dein schoene Haende, mir die getreuen Augen zu”. trans: Your beautiful hands will close my faithful eyes.  Seems like a nice way to go, especially if it’s sung. Here is soprano Emma Kirkby with really beautiful (and tasteful) ornaments, in what I call a stylistically satisfying performance, accompanied by portative organ and cello on continuo.

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