Thomas Braatz wrote (September 9, 2001):
The Gospel reading, that of the parable of the Good Samaritan (Luke 10:23-37,) is specifically referred to in the 1st recitative. This reading is the springboard for Salomo Franck, the librettist, who in 1715 published the text for this cantata in his "Evangelisches Andachts-Opffer." In this 1st recitative there are also references to the 5th Beatitude (Mat 5,7 and Mat 7,7 - "klopft an.aufgetan." The final chorale is verse 5 of a chorale by Elisabeth Kreuziger (Cruciger,) "Herr Christ, der einig Gotts Sohn," its melody taken from the "Erfurter enchiridion (1524.) Elisabeth Kreuziger, née von Meseritz, was born c. 1500. She married Professor Kaspar Kreuziger, a colleague of Luther at the University of Wittenberg. She is known as the 1st poetess of the Evangelical Lutheran mvt. She died in 1535.
Date of Composition and Performance:
It is now generally agreed that this cantata was composed shortly prior to its 1st performance on August 21, 1725. Bach had already composed BWV 77 (1723) and BWV 33 (1724) for this 13th Sunday after Trinity. Perhaps realizing that he had not set this specific text by Franck (we know he admired Franck's texts,) Bach decided to go back to this text that he had possibly used in the Weimar period (no evidence of this exists - this is all conjecture.) Rudolf Wustmann (1872-1916) thought that this cantata was actually composed during that early period. Basing his reasoning on the child-like stiff notation of Wilhelm Friedemann as a young copier of parts under the guidance of Anna Magdalena, Spitta dated the cantata among the earliest (1723) in the Leipzig period. Both Spitta and Schweitzer create a fanciful family scene in which they allowed their imaginations to play a large role. However, subsequent meticulous research conducted by the NBA watermark experts, particularly with the aid of Alfred Dürr, who creates great distance between this cantata and an earlier, presumed Weimar cantata (presumed only because one would expect Bach to set the Franck text to music near the time when the Franck's book was published and also because the instrumental ensemble is limited in size), a cantata for which there exists not a shred of physical evidence or indirect references to it. To make matters even worse, the watermark used for this cantata is one of the rarest used by Bach. Only one other use is known: a full-score fragment of BWV 168.
State of Original Score and Parts:
Schweitzer indicated that the score had "been so hastily written that it is hardly decipherable." The NBA KB does not confirm this, but rather emphasizes the extremely poor condition of the autograph (the ink had eaten its way through the paper, making holes that had already been restored once (1936.) Nevertheless its condition continues to worsen. Is there not an IBM project underway to preserve as a digital image endangered scores such as this one?