Only very few vocal works from Bach's Köthen period (1717-1723) have survived. Friedrich Smend has provided evidence that the serenata BWV 66a, which is presented here for the first time as an attempt at reconstruction, is the Köthen original of the Easter cantata BWV 66. The reworking was not only appropriate for Bach for temporal reasons, but also for theological ones, because the resurrection of Jesus is the feast of rebirth and life.
Of the Köthen Serenata, only the libretto written by Christian Friedrich Hunold (1680-1721), known as "Menantes", has survived in a contemporary printed text. Hunold's choice of Hunold as lyricist for both the serenata and the church cantata can be explained not only by his family ties to the surroundings of the court of Köthen, but also by Leopold's interest in all things modious and exclusive, for his "gallant" style of writing had made Menantes very popular.