Bach Cantata BWV 82 is one of his most famous solo-voice cantatas. Written for Candlemas, it is exclusively about the subject of Simeon. The first aria for oboe, strings, continuo, and bass voice is a poignant gravely beautiful movement that treats the end of Simeon's long life with a mixture of melancholy and resignation. The second aria with strings is a lullaby both for the death of Simeon and also for the sleeping Christ Child. The whole cantata treats the idea of the departure of Simeon and the birth of Jesus as part of the same godly plan. The final aria is a joyous affair but in the minor mode to preserve the seriousness of the text.

©Craig Smith

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