kathleen ferrier – bist du bei mir

This recording was made in 1950.

When thou art near, I go with joy
To death and to my rest.
O how pleasant would my end be,
If your fair hands
Would close my faithful eyes.

Kathleen Mary Ferrier, CBE (22 April 1912 – 8 October 1953) was an English contralto singer who achieved an international reputation as a stage, concert and recording artist, with a repertoire extending from folksong and popular ballads to the classical works of Bach, Brahms, Mahler and Elgar. Her death from cancer, at the height of her fame, was a shock to the musical world and particularly to the general public, which was kept in ignorance of the nature of her illness until after her death.

“Bist du bei mir” (English: “be, thou, with me”) (BWV 508) is an aria in the Notebook for Anna Magdalena Bach. It was therefore attributed to Johann Sebastian Bach, but the melody is part of the Gottfried Heinrich Stölzel opera Diomedes, oder die triumphierende Unschuld that was performed in Bayreuth on November 16, 1718. The opera score is lost.

(Info taken from Wikipedia.)

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