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Published on Feb 10, 2012
Marianne Lihannah (mezzo soprano) sings and Liz Leachman plays the harpsichord. This beautiful and well-known aria is from Handel's opera 'Xerxes' (Serse) HWV 40. It is also known as Handel's 'Largo', although the original tempo was larghetto. It is the first aria sung in the opera by the main character Serse, in praise of a tree's shade as he sits underneath it.
The translation of the Italian words are:
"Under your shade, cooled by your branches, never such restfullness, beside the glade, under your shade."
I have tried to capture the mood of this song in this little video. Thanks to Catharina Rickett for letting me use some of her spectacular photos. Thanks also to Liz Leachman for playing the harpsichord so beautifully.