Acis and Galatea, HWV 49 (George Frideric Handel)

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  • (Posted 2006-01-29)  CPDL #10037:  pp. 1-26:   pp. 27-50:   pp. 51-74:   pp. 75-100:   (MIDI)
Editor: Michael Gibson (submitted 2006-01-29).   Score information: Letter, 24 pages, 2.93 MB   Copyright: CPDL
Edition notes: 4 PDF Sections make up complete vocal score (page numbers at bottom, musical numbers at top of page). MIDI files are zipped. Based on Joseph Barnby's SATB rearrangement of choruses.


  • (Posted 2008-07-23)  CPDL #17685:  Network.png
Contributor: David Newman (submitted 2008-07-23).   Score information: Letter, 7 pages, 303 kB    Copyright: Public Domain
Edition notes: recit. & aria for bass: "I Rage, I Melt / O Ruddier than the Cherry" Edition in G Minor, piano reduction by Ebenezer Prout

General Information

Title: Acis and Galatea, HWV 49
Composer: George Frideric Handel
Lyricists: John Gay, Alexander Pope and John Hughes

Number of voices: 5vv   Voicing: SATTB
with Solo STTB Soli:

Galatea - soprano
Acis - tenor
Damon - tenor (treble in the 1718 version)
Polyphemus - bass
Coridon - tenor (1718 only)

Genre: SecularOpera

Language: English
Instruments: Orchestra

First published:
Description: There are quite a few incarnations of this work: the serenata/cantata for 3 singers Aci, Galatea e Polifemo (HWV 72) was written in 1708. Handel wrote completely new music for the serenade/masque Acis and Galatea in 1717-18 for 5 singers (published 1722). In 1732 he made a 3 act version borrowing some music from Aci, Galatea e Polifemo as well as other Italian works (and dropping the role of Coridon), and in 1739 he reworked the 1718 version into 2 acts. The 1732 version continued to be revised through 1741. Mozart adapted the work in 1788 (K. 566).

External websites:

Original text and translations

English.png English text

I rage, I rage, I melt, I burn!
The feeble god has stabbed me to the heart.
Thou trusty pine, prop of my god-like steps,
I lay thee by!
Bring me a hundred reeds of decent growth,
to make a pipe for my capacious mouth;
in soft enchanting accents
let me breathe sweet Galatea’s beauty, and my love.

O ruddier than the cherry,
O sweeter than the berry,
O nymph more bright than moonshine night,
Like kidlings blithe and merry!

Ripe as the melting cluster,
No lily has such lustre;
Yet hard to tame as raging flame,
And fierce as storms that bluster!