[Daily article] February 2: Mit Fried und Freud ich fahr dahin

Mit Fried und Freud ich fahr dahin (With peace and joy I depart), BWV
125, is a church cantata by Johann Sebastian Bach, composed in Leipzig
in 1725 for the Candlemas feast on 2 February. The cantata is based on
Martin Luther’s 1524 hymn of the same name. The gospel for the feast
day, the presentation of Jesus at the Temple, includes Simeon’s canticle
(painting pictured), which Luther paraphrased in his hymn. For Bach’s
chorale cantata cycle, an unknown librettist retained the first and the
last of Luther’s four stanzas, paraphrasing the second stanza for an
aria, and including its original text line by line in a recitative. Bach
framed four solo movements with choral music, a chorale fantasia and a
closing chorale. He scored the work for three vocal soloists, a four-
part choir, horn, flauto traverso, oboes, strings and basso continuo. In
the third movement, Bach uses recitative for the librettist’s text, and
arioso for the interspersed hymn quotations, accompanying both with a
joyful motif. The opening chorus has been compared to the opening
movement of Bach’s later St Matthew Passion.

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Today’s selected anniversaries:


Nine leaders of the Transylvanian peasant revolt were executed
at Torda.


Scottish sailor Alexander Selkirk (commemorative statue
pictured) was rescued by English captain Woodes Rogers and the crew of
the Duke after spending four years as a castaway on an uninhabited
island in the Juan Fernández archipelago, providing the inspiration for
Daniel Defoe’s novel Robinson Crusoe.


New York City’s Grand Central Terminal, the world’s largest
train station in number of platforms, opened at midnight.


The Osvald Group committed the first active event of the
Norwegian resistance movement by blowing up Oslo East Station to protest
the inauguration of Vidkun Quisling.


The passenger ferry MV Rabaul Queen capsized and sank in rough
conditions in the Solomon Sea, resulting in at least 88 deaths.

Wiktionary’s word of the day:

1. (transitive, intransitive) To make a soft murmuring sound, as a pigeon.
2. (intransitive) To speak in an admiring fashion, to be enthusiastic

Wikiquote quote of the day:

  All things are inconstant except the faith in the soul, which
changes all things and fills their inconstancy with light, but though I
seem to be driven out of my country as a misbeliever I have found no man
yet with a faith like mine.  
–James Joyce

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