O Ruddier than the Cherry!
Recit & Aria from Acis & Galatea
for bass (F-f''), recorder, two violins and bc
After Handel had spent some time in London, enjoying the patronage of Lord Burlington, in 1717 he was engaged by the Earl of Carnarvon (later Lord Chandos) as the resident composer at Cannons. Acis and Galatea was one of two English masques Handel wrote, possibly for performance at Cannons, and dates from 1718. The modest scale of the work suggests that the musical establishment at Cannons was not large at this time. However the work contains a full range of dramatic characterisation. This recitative and aria for Polypheme, the cyclopean monster who has become infatuated with the tragic heroine Galatea, is a masterpiece of grotesque humour.