• Joy of Music – Over 250 years of quality, innovation, and tradition
2-3 Tage
Hire/performance material


for soprano and orchestra
texts by Robert Browning, Egon Schiele, Arthur Rimbaud and John Berryman
soprano and orchestra
Berryman’s poem, ‘Keep your eyes open’, provided the initial stimulus for Augenlieder. On discovering the sonnet it immediately became linked in my mind to a short neglected lyric by Browning, a poem written to accompany Frederic Leighton’s painting Orpheus and Eurydice at its showing during the Royal Academy exhibition in 1864. Here, in the respective texts, were pairs of lovers connected by the drama of a look, a look avoided, or a look consummated. Much later I chanced upon another, equally unlikely, marriage of poems. While the virtuoso excitement of Rimbaud’s synaesthetic experiment in Voyelles balances Schiele’s quieter word-colour painting, the crux of both poems resides again in the act of seeing. The deliberate ambiguity of Rimbaud’s ‘Ses Yeux’ offsets Schiele’s more straightforward, though ultimately no less complex, picture: his is a definitively first-person experience – the experience, not surprisingly, of a great visual artist struggling to achieve a similar directness in a medium other than the one for which he is famous.
Edition: Performance material

Product Details


The poems in this cycle, which won a British Composer Award in 2010, are all connected with love and the emotive power of the eyes. John Berryman’s ‘Keep your eyes open’ provided the starting point for the work and led Ryan Wigglesworth on to poems by Robert Browning, Arthur Rimbaud and Egon Schiele. 

The composer writes: “Specific sonorities underpin the crosscurrents and correspondences between the texts. The harmonic and melodic materials for each of the four songs share certain characteristics; a seemingly innocuous, ‘split-second’ gesture in one song often provides the main point of expansion for another, and so on.” (Ryan Wigglesworth)

Orchestral Cast

3(3.pic).1.ca.3.2.cbsn-, vib, xyl, mar, bells, tri, 4sus cym, sizz cym, tam-t, h.h, 2s.d, b.d, tamb, 4tempbl)-cel.hp-str( or


I Eurydice to Orpheus (Robert Browning)
II Visionen (Egon Schiele)
III Voyelles (Arthur Rimbaud)
IV Keep your eyes open (John Berryman)

More Information

for soprano and orchestra
texts by Robert Browning, Egon Schiele, Arthur Rimbaud and John Berryman
French, German, English
Performance material
Nov 30, 2010
British Composer Award - Vocal category

Schott Music Ltd., London
Year of composition:
16 ′
World Premiere:
November 6, 2009 · London (UK)
Barbican Hall
Claire Booth, soprano · Conductor: Ryan Wigglesworth · BBC Symphony Orchestra


Technical Details

Product number:
LSL 10225-01

Preview/Media Contents



Set Ascending Direction
  • Augenlieder
    2001: New century, new sounds
    Conductor: Vladimir Jurowski
    Orchestra: London Philharmonic Orchestra
    April 8, 2020 | London (United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland) , Royal Festival Hall
  • Augenlieder
    Conductor: Ryan Wigglesworth
    Orchestra: Orquestra Sinfónica do Porto Casa da Música
    October 14, 2017 | Porto (Portugal) , Casa da Música, Sala Suggia — National Premiere
  • Augenlieder
    Ryan Wigglesworth Portrait Concert
    Conductor: Ryan Wigglesworth
    Orchestra: BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra
    October 3, 2015 | Glasgow (United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland) , City Halls
  • Augenlieder
    Conductor: Ryan Wigglesworth
    Orchestra: City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra
    October 2, 2014 | Birmingham (United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland) , Symphony Hall
  • Augenlieder
    Conductor: Ryan Wigglesworth
    Orchestra: Bergen Filharmoniske Orkester
    April 30, 2014 | Bergen (Norway) , Grieghallen — National Premiere
  • Set Ascending Direction

    More from this series



    Be the first to review this product.