Each weekday during November, WQXR offers a free, daily download of a noteworthy Bach recording. Today: The "Schlummert ein, ihr matten Augen" from Cantata 82.
Cantata BWV 82, "Ich habe genug": Schlummert ein, ihr matten Augen
Johann Sebastian Bach
Andreas Scholl, counter-tenor
Andreas Scholl | Kammerorchester Basel
Available at Arkivmusic.com
Composing for the Lutheran church, Bach wrote a lot of music about death. But in the church context, death, for believers, is something to be looked forward to, because it’s the doorway to eternal life. The scripture that goes with Bach’s Cantata 82 is about Simeon, a righteous old man who was promised that he would not die until he met the Savior. When that happens, Simeon is fulfilled and ready to die, and so the title of this cantata is “Ich habe genug,” which means, “I have enough.” One amazing moment in the cantata is the aria, “Schlummert ein, ihr matten Augen” – “Slumber now, weary eyes.” The words are for someone who is going to sleep for the last time, leaving behind the cares of earthly life. So, what music goes with going to sleep? A lullaby, of course.
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