Bach: Christum wir sollen loben schon, BWV 121

Cantata for the 2nd day of Christmas

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This six-movement chorale cantata was first performed on 26 December 1724. The text is based on the Lutheran translation of the early Christian hymn A solis ortus cardinem. The outer movements frame two arias for tenor and bass, and two secco recitatives for alto and soprano. The first and sixth movements are in old-fashioned style, with four-part vocal writing and colla parte instruments. in the aria (movement 2) the tenor is accompanied by an obbligato oboe d'amore, and in the 4th and most striking movement, the three string parts accompany the bass. The demands on the singers, instrumentalists, and chorus are typical of a Bach cantata.