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Program note: Pink Edges (2000)

  • Gerard Brophy
  • Source: 11th Sydney Spring The Song Company 12 September 2000

Pink Edges (2000) Gerard Brophy
For sìx voices
Many and varied are the stories regarding the composition of the Sonetti Lussuriosi by Pietro Aretino
and the creation of the famous 16 drawings of Giulio Romano, later engraved by Marcantonio Raimondi.
The sonnets and their accompanying illustrations,known as I Sedici Modi (The 16 ways), were published
in 1527 and probe the extremes of sexual behaviour in order to mercilessly depict and criticize the
hypocrisy of the day. The graphic nature of the woodcuts would have further infuriated and incensed both
Aretino's intended targets and detractors.
As one would expect, most of the text is out of control in its obsessive descriptions of very imaginative,
anci in some cases, probably very uncomfortable coital configurations. By way of respite however, one
encounters oases of tender calm and furthermore, Aretino's tongue-in-cheek (for once!) asides are sagely
endearing. lt was necessary to exercise great discretion and restraint in my choice of text, so quite
simply, I selected the fragments that most appealed to me on the literary, musical and sexual levels.
Gerard Brophy


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