Works Ensemble & Chamber Two Love Songs (1949)


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?”


(1949) 5 min
on Poems of Rainer Maria Rilke
World Premiere:
March 13, 1949. Jennie Tourel and Alan Rogers / Town Hall, New York, NY
voice and piano
Version Notes
Premiere of the first song was held on March 13, 1949. The second was later premiered on March 13, 1963.


Two Love Songs
1949 (arr. 1995) 5 min
orchestrated for voice, flutes, clarinets, percussion, harp and strings by Sid Ramin

  • Scoring:
Purchasing Licensing Information

To perform Two Love Songs, please contact Boosey & Hawkes. For general licensing inquiries, click here.

To purchase sheet music for Two Love Songs, please visit our store.


A portrait of Rilke painted two years after his death by Leonid Pasternak
Wikimedia Commons Wikimedia Commons

Joyce DiDonato talks about and sings "Extinguish My Eyes", written by Leonard Bernstein! Piano: David Zobel.
Joyce DiDonato's Joyce DiDonato's "Deepest Desire"

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