The text of this cantata is probably the first libretto by Picander that Bach ever used, albeit with modifications. The opening movement is one of Bach's glorious choruses and perhaps provides the main focus of interest for this cantata. The first tenor aria is accompanied by continuo with obbligato violin, the latter having much florid writing to deal with. The second aria, for alto, is most notable for the accompaniment from two oboes d'amore and an oboe da caccia. They honk their way through a genial little melody. The closing chorale, which is set in a straightforward manner, provides a slight difficulty, Bach specified the melody but no text! The New Bach Edition has provided a different text to that which Spitta originally suggested should fit here, so you may well find editions or performances that differ in their words.
Copyright © 1996 & 1998, Simon Crouch.