The story behind Lustful Songs began with sixteen drawings by Giulio Romano, engraved by Marcantonio Raimondi in the 16th century. Although drawn and engraved in the ‘antique’ style, the images were sexually explicit, and in 1525, after obtaining the release of Raimondi from prison, Pietro Aretino chose to compose sixteen sonnets to accompany the engravings. Aretino followed a precise linguistic programme, determining that the language should describe reality rather than disguise it. Nyman used 8 of these 16 sonnets as the text for his I Sonetti Lussuriosi.
At the November concert the work will be performed by Marie Angel, the singer who premiered the work and featured on the commercial recording in 2008. Explaining his choice of performer, Nyman has said, “the initial decision to ask Marie Angel to sing both male and female roles was crucial in my attempt to dramatise and create as much variety as possible out of these repetitive dialogues”.
The work will be sung in the original Italian, with English translations available only to those who request them.
Due to the nature of the source material, this event contains sexually explicit material and is suitable for audiences aged 18+. Check out the programme below and click here to buy the CD. Tickets are available now and can be ordered online from the Southbank Centre’s website here.
BBC Concert Orchestra
Keith Lockhart – conductor
Marie Angel – soprano
Kate Winter – vocals
Christopher Cook – presenter