Handel: Acis and Galatea

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Handel: Acis and Galatea



Catalogue No:




Release date:

28th May 2012




1 hour 41 minutes


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Handel: Acis and Galatea

Dawn Kotoski (Galatea), David Gordon (Acis), Glenn Siebert (Damon) & Jan Opalach (Polyphemus)

Seattle Symphony Chorale & Seattle Symphony, Gerard Schwarz

CD - 2 discs


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Acis and Galatea, variously described as a pastoral, a ‘little opera’ and a masque, is one of Handel’s most popular works. It is a delectable succession of pastoral airs, love-lorn lyrics, and sprightly or mourning choruses, spiced by the pungent and unforgettable interjection of the one-eyed giant Polyphemus, who destroys the idyll of the shepherd Acis and the nymph Galatea. Handel had first turned to the subject in a cantata written in Naples in 1708. His English work, formally a masque, went through several stages until this two-act version of 1739, written principally by John Gay and graced by Handel’s exquisite music.

George Frideric Handel: Acis and Galatea, HWV 49

Act I: Sinfonia

Act I: Oh, the pleasures of the plain (Chorus, Acis, Galatea)

Act I: Accompagnato: Ye verdant plains and woody mountains (Galatea)

Act I: Aria: Hush, ye pretty warbling quire (Galatea)

Act I: Aria: Where shall I seek the charming fair (Acis)

Act I: Recitative: Stay, shepherd, stay (Damon)

Act I: Aria: Shepherd, what art thou pursuing (Damon)

Act I: Recitative: Lo! here my love (Acis)

Act I: Aria: Love in her eyes sits playing (Acis)

Act I: Recitative: Oh! didst thou know the pains of absent love (Galatea)

Act I: Aria: As when the dove laments (Galatea)

Act I: Duet: Happy we! (Acis, Galatea, Chorus)

Act II: Wretched lovers! Fate has passed (Chorus)

Act II: Accompagnato: I rage, I melt, I burn (Polyphemus)

Act II: Aria: O ruddier than the cherry (Polyphemus)

Act II: Recitative: Whither, fairest, art thou running (Polyphemus, Galatea)

Act II: Aria: Cease to beauty to be suing (Polyphemus)

Act II: Aria: Would you gain the tender creature (Damon)

Act II: Recitative: His hideous love provokes my rage (Acis)

Act II: Aria: Love sounds th'alarm (Acis)

Act II: Aria: Consider, fond shepherd (Damon)

Act II: Recitative: Cease, oh cease, thou gentle youth (Galatea)

Act II: Trio: The flocks shall leave the mountains (Acis, Galatea, Polyphemus)

Act II: Accompagnato: Help, Galatea! Help, ye parent gods! (Acis)

Act II: Mourn, all ye muses (Chorus)

Act II: Aria: Must I my Acis still bemoan (Galatea, Chorus)

Act II: Recitative: 'Tis done: thus I exert my pow'r divine (Galatea)

Act II: Aria: Heart, the seat of soft delight (Galatea)

Act II: Galatea, dry thy tears (Chorus)

BBC Music Magazine

September 2012


“Schwarz's 1991 Seattle Acis is disciplined but passe in sound, style and rhythmic gait. It skimps on Handelian delight, though its soloist quartet is decent.”

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