- The Triumph of Time and Truth, oratorio, HWV 71
Handel: The Triumph of Time & Truthby Ludus Baroque
"The Triumph of Time and Truth" was Handel's first oratorio and, at least in some sense, his last. It started life in 1707 as "Il trionfo del tempo e del disinganno" and was revised twice, the first time in 1737 and finally, in 1757, with a new English text. The work, with its dour text about how getting religion because the ravages of time inevitably defeat beauty and pleasure, and its cast consisting entirely of allegorical, abstract characters, has never been one of Handel's more popular works, and by 1757, with lighter currents in the air even in Britain, it was out of style. However, it receives possibly the best argument in its favor here from the Scots group Ludus Baroque. Although the players use historical instruments, this may well be a reading to warm the heart of old-school listeners who miss the days of big symphony orchestras accompanying Handel choirs on risers. The Ludus Baroque choir numbers only 19 and the violin section six, but the singers produce a full-throated, rich sound that makes it sound as though there are more of them than there really are. The sound matches the serious quality of the text, and conductor Richard Neville-Towle joins it effectively to a group of rather operatic soloists. The most effective is the powerful Sophie Bevan, a rising star in this kind of music, but there really isn't a weak spot in the whole. The sound environment, from Edinburgh's Canongate Kirk, also adds to the imposing quality of the whole, and this recording will find buyers even beyond the serious Handel enthusiasts for whom it is a near-must.
- Release Date:
Performance CreditsLudus Baroque Primary Artist
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