The work was performed for the first time on June 6, 1723, at St. Thomas Church in Leipzig, making it the second of Bach's Leipzig cantatas after he took office as Thomaskantor. Like the cantata Die Elenden sollen essen (BWV 75), performed only a week earlier, the composition consists of two parts, each of which was originally heard before and after the sermon. The elaborate arrangement of both works shows the great commitment with which Bach devoted himself to the new task.
Indeed, the genius is evident in the structure, the harmonies, the polyphony, which is still sought in vain in the entire history of music.
The opening chorus, here rewritten for the organ, is in two parts. And as different as the two parts may be, at the end many figures, indeed exactly the same passages can be found in all the voices of the second part.
I dared an experiment and played the two parts on different sample sets. The festive first part is played on the Eisenbarth organ in Friesach, the fugue-like, rhythmically strongly emphasized second part on the more suitable sample set of the Melcer Chamber Music Hall.