Father Guillermo Jünemann Beckschäfer was a German Roman Catholic priest in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. In his youth his family moved to Chile, and he grew up surrounded by Spanish literature. He spent much of his life creating new Spanish translations of the scriptures. He produced a translation of the Old Testament from the Greek Septuagint, which was panned by the Roman Catholic church, as some of its translational choices conflicted with the Vulgate. This Old Testament was not published in his lifetime, but received a posthumous publication in 1993.
Many composers have made arrangements of various chant melodies for “Bless the Lord, O My Soul”, which is made up of selected verses of the introductory psalm from Vespers. The most common chant melody in the Russian tradition is the “Greek Chant” melody. Aleksandr Kastalsky made several different arrangements of this melody. The version presented here (in the original Slavonic) is for male chorus; it was recorded in 2008 by the St. John of San Francisco Men’s Chorale.
Alongside the Slavonic original of Kastalsky’s male chorus setting of "Bless the Lord, O my soul," I here present an English setting.
In 1893, Stepan Smolensky published an edition of the Divine Liturgy for male choir, including this setting of a traditional chant melody for the hymn “All of creation rejoiceth in thee,” which is sung in honor of the Mother of God at the Divine Liturgy of St. Basil the Great (a service most commonly served on Sundays during Great Lent). It is presented here in an English translation.