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Bach structured the music in six movements of alternating arias and recitatives, and scored it for a small ensemble of four vocal parts, oboe, strings and continuo.The voices are combined only in the closing chorale, the fifth stanza of Elisabeth Cruciger's hymn "".The oboe adds virtuoso figuration and trills, reminiscent of Bach's secular music.The aria is concluded by rejoicing calls: "Messias kömmt an" (The Messiah arrives). John in the gospel, is given to the bass as the vox Christi, as if Jesus asked the listener this question.The first aria is in da capo form in a swinging 6/8 time signature, accompanied by the full ensemble.
As concertmaster, he assumed the principal responsibility for composing new works, specifically cantatas for the Schlosskirche (palace church), on a monthly schedule. The music of the chorale is lost; it may have been noted in a simple setting on a separate sheet, as in the similar case of Nur jedem das Seine, BWV 163, composed four weeks earlier.
The prescribed readings for the Sunday were from the Epistle to the Philippians, "Rejoice in the Lord alway" (Philippians 4:4–7), and from the Gospel of John, the testimony of John the Baptist (John –28). For practical purposes the same verse, closing Ihr, die ihr euch von Christo nennet, BWV 164, in 1725, may be used.
As in several other cantatas on words by Franck, it is scored for a small ensemble of four vocal soloists (soprano (S), alto (A), tenor (T) and bass (B)),and a Baroque instrumental ensemble of oboe (Ob), two violins (Vl), viola (Va), cello (Vc) and basso continuo (Bc) including bassoon. The title of the autograph score reads: "Dominicâ 4 Adventus Xsti Concerto. In the following table of the movements, the scoring follows the Neue Bach-Ausgabe, and the abbreviations for voices and instruments the list of Bach cantatas.
He wrote this cantata for the fourth Sunday in Advent, dating it himself.
The prescribed readings for the Sunday were from the Epistle to the Philippians, "Rejoice in the Lord alway" (Philippians 4:4–7), and from the Gospel of John, the testimony of John the Baptist (John –28).