Bach wrote the chorale cantata in his second year in
Leipzig for the First Sunday after Epiphany. The
prescribed readings for the Sunday were taken from the
Epistle to the Romans, speaking of the duties of a
Christian (Romans 12:1–6), and from the Gospel of Luke,
the finding in the Temple (Luke 2:41–52).
A year earlier, on the same occasion, Bach had
reflected Mein liebster Jesus ist verloren, BWV 154,
from the point of view of a person who had lost Jesus.
This cantata text is based on the chorale in six
stanzas by Christian Keymann (1658). The text of the
hymn begins, as in the former work, with an idea close
to the gospel: the Christian does not want to let go of
Jesus, as his parents had wished not to lose their
12-year-old boy, but then the chorale pursues the
thought of being united with Jesus after death. An
unknown poet kept the first and the last stanza, and
paraphrased the inner stanzas to a sequence of as many
recitatives and arias. Bach first performed the cantata
on 7 January 1725, one day after Liebster Immanuel,
Herzog der Frommen, BWV 123, for Epiphany.
This, the last Aria "Laß, o Welt, mich aus Verachtung"
(Leave me, o world, out of scorn), ia a duet of soprano
and alto, only accompanied by the continuo, moves like
a dance in simple periods of four measures. The cantata
is closed by the final stanza in a four-part
Although originally scored for Soprano & Bass soloists
and basso continuo, I created this arrangement for
String trio (Violin, Viola & Cello).