Das neugeborne Kindelein (The new-born infant child),
BWV 122, is a church cantata by Johann Sebastian Bach.
Bach composed the cantata in his second year as
Thomaskantor in Leipzig for the Sunday after Christmas.
The prescribed readings for the Sunday were from the
Epistle to the Galatians, "through Christ we are free
from the law" (Galatians 4:17), and from the Gospel of
Luke, Simeon and Anna talking to Mary (Luke 2:3340).
The chorale cantata is based on a hymn by Cyriakus
Schneegaß (1597) with the same title as the cantata.
The librettist is unknown.
This, the opening chorus is a chorale fantasia with a
long opening and closing ritornello bookending a
chorale theme with four entries and lengthy
interspersed episodes. The three lower voices imitate
the soprano thrice in the chorale phrases and then move
into a fast ascending figure.
The "rather muted" music of the first chorus and the
bass aria (the opening line of which translates as "O
mortals, ye who sin daily") have been described by one
writer as giving listeners a "moral hangover" after the
possible overindulgence of the Christmas holidays.
Although originally scored for four vocal soloists
(soprano, alto, tenor, and bass), a four-part choir,
three recorders, two oboes, taille, two violins, viola,
and basso continuo with organ, I created this
arrangement for Winds (Flute, Oboe, French Horn, Bass
Clarinet) & Strings (2 Violins, Viola & Cello).