chapter  16
16 Pages

Handel's Acis and Galatea

A Victorian View

It is well known that the 1718 version of Acis and Galatea was important both in G. F. Handel's development and in the process of his naturalization in an adoptive country, and that it enjoyed an extended life in multiple versions in England. Indeed, a good deal of attention has been afforded to the work's fairly extensive performance and publication history in England in the eighteenth century. Significantly less consideration, however, has been given to its continuing presence–which was notable–in the festivals and concert halls and on the stages of nineteenth-century England. In many concerts Acis and Galatea shared the bill with oratorios by that other venerated 'English' composer Mendelssohn. The work was also made available to Victorians in affordable editions, such as the piano/vocal reduction published by Cramer & Beale in 1847, edited and revised by William Sterndale Bennett for the London Handel Society.