This chorus was written within a few days of Der Tod Oscars
, and makes a suitably lachrymose commentary on the field of carnage with which that ballad ended. It is the third time that Schubert had attempted to set this text chorally, and not the last Schubert's interest in the other poetry of Salis-Seewis (there are four solo settings) seems to have been initiated by the extravagant care that he took to set this poem in different ways. This C minor setting is perhaps the most austere of the five different versions; it seems almost drained of feeling in its graveside grief.
from notes by Graham Johnson © 1995