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Music Text

Rilke (G)

Abbreviations (PDF)


Boosey & Hawkes, Sole Agent

This work is available from Boosey & Hawkes for the world.

Programme Note

In 1949, Bernstein set a pair of texts by the poet Rainer Maria Rilke, the first of which, Extinguish My Eyes, was introduced that same year by mezzo-soprano Jennie Tourel at Town Hall in New York. Rilke’s text begins, “Extinguish my eyes, I’ll go on seeing you/Seal my ears, I’ll go on hearing you.” It wasn’t until 1963 that she premiered the second song, When My Soul Touches Yours, which opens with the tender lines, “When my soul touches yours a great chord sings/How can I tune it then to other things?” Subsequently, Sid Ramin, who helped to orchestrate many of Bernstein’s most famous works, created this instrumental arrangement.


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