J. S. Bach: Bist Du Bei Mir

Written by Michael Barrett

Associate Artistic Director, NYFOS

In category: Song of the Day

Published April 12, 2017

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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Michael Barrett is the co-founder and associate artistic director of New York Festival of Song, as well as the co-founder and music director of the Moab Music Festival in Utah. A conductor and a pianist, Michael was a protégé of Leonard Bernstein and serves as music advisor to the Leonard Bernstein Estate.


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