Today (January 6th) is the great feast of the Epiphany. The day we commemorate the journey of the Three Kings.
It is also the day that officially marks the "end" of Christmas.
Scholars now tell us that the three kings weren't kings at all, but were probably astronomers. However, nothing can replace the images in art of the three kings - elegant, regal, noble. All gazing upon the Infant King with awe and wonder.
The season of Epiphany is also marked by the "light" and "brightness" of the Star, and so, the hymn, "Wie schön leuchtet der Morgenstern" (How brightly shines the Morning-Star" is a standard favorite of the season.
This setting of "Wie schön leuchtet der Morgenstern" was written to be played: "Vor oder Nachspiel zu Epiphanias." (As a Postlude for Epiphany.)
Carl Kuntze (May 17, 1817 in Trier - September 7, 1883 in Delitzsch) was a student of August Wilhelm Bach, Adolf Bernhard Marx and Carl Friedrich Rungenhagen. He was organist and cantor in Pritzwalk and Aschersleben.
This setting of the well-known chorale is really just an "elaboration" of the hymn-tune, interspersed with some scale passages. It is played upon the Full Organ with all reeds on.