Christum wir sollen loben schon (We should already be
praising Christ), BWV 121, is a church cantata by
Johann Sebastian Bach. He composed the cantata in his
second year in Leipzig for the second day of Christmas.
The prescribed readings for the feast day were from the
Epistle to Titus (Titus 3:4–7), the Acts of the
Apostles (Acts 6:8–15 and Acts 7:55–60), and the Gospel
of Luke (Luke 2:15–20).
The source for the melody is Martin Luther's setting of
the hymn "Christum wir sollen loben schon", a German
translation of the Latin "A solis ortus cardine" (c.
430). The opening chorus is its first verse and the
closing chorale is its eighth verse, both unchanged.
The hymn's other verses are freely adapted as
madrigalian recitatives and arias.
This, the bass aria "Johannis freudenvolles Springen"
(John's joyful leaps) is almost dance-like, playing
with the harmony and portraying jumps, reflecting the
movement's text's references to John the Baptist's
jumping in his mother's womb during the Visitation of
Mary. The binary-form string ritornello repeats four
times during the aria, framing three separate vocal
sections of the da capo aria.
Although originally scored for bass vocal soloist, two
violins, viola, and basso continuo, I created this
arrangement for French Horn & Strings (2 Violins, Viola