Franz Schubert wrote “Litanei auf das Fest Aller Seelen” in 1816 after a text by Johann Georg Jacobi, which is reproduced below in English translation. Three recordings of this exquisite piece—arranged for soprano and piano, for chorus and piano, and for cello and piano—are provided at the bottom of the text.

Litany for the Feast of All Souls

May all souls rest in peace;
those whose fearful torment is past;
those whose sweet dreams are over;
those sated with life, those barely born,
who have left this world:
may all souls rest in peace!
The souls of girls in love,
whose tears are without number,
who, abandoned by a faithless lover,
rejected the blind world.
May all who have departed hence,
may all souls rest in peace!
And those who never smiled at the sun,
who lay awake beneath the moon on beds of thorns,
so that they might one day see God face to face
in the pure light of heaven:
may all who have departed hence,
may all souls rest in peace!
Translation © Richard Wigmore, author of Schubert: The Complete Song Texts, published by Schirmer Books, provided courtesy of Oxford Lieder (www.oxfordlieder.co.uk).First published by Gollancz and reprinted in the Hyperion Schubert Song Edition

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