Johann Kuhnau (1660-1722) was Bach’s predecessor at the St. Thomas Church in Leipzig. In 1682 he entered the University of Leipzig and was licensed to practice law upon the completion of his dissertation in 1688. He was elected in 1683 as the organist at the St. Thomas Church and later as Cantor, a position he held until his death in 1722. All his keyboard compositions were written and published during his tenure as organist, including the six Biblical Sonatas. His sacred choral music (cantatas, Magnificat and Passion) was composed while he served as Cantor. Kuhnau was also known as an author, having written both musical treatises and novels. His most famous literary work was The Musical Charlatan (Der musikalische Quacksalber). Kuhnau was a man of many talents: he was a classical scholar, a linguist, a jurist, a writer, as well as a musician.
Microfilm of the manuscript of Lobe den Herrn was obtained from the Sächsische Landesbibliothek in Dresden, Germany. The manuscript designated this cantata for the Seventh Sunday after Trinity. This setting calls for alto and bass soloists with violin, oboe and continuo. Cello and organ are called for in the continuo part. If an oboist is not readily available, a flutist or a second violinist is a possible substitution.