Handel's "Il Trionfo del Tempo e del Disinganno" was a work he revisited in three versions. This is the original 1707 work the young Handel wrote during his Italian sojourn. It was reworked for London theatre audiences in 1737 as "Il Trionfo del Tempo e della Verità
", before being recreated once more in an English language version "The Triumph of Time and Truth
" in 1757, his final work.
Classified as an oratorio, the composition is really more like an extended cantata or serenata, though the moralising tone of the 'plot' probably accounts for its categorisation. The character of Bellezza (Beauty) is tempted by Piacere (Pleasure), but Tempo (Time) and Disinganno (Disillusion, in the sense of coming to one's senses) turn her to a life of virtue.
In my Handel collection I already had Emanuelle Haim's recording of this work
, itself a top notch disc, but the temptation to hear the one by the ever fabulous Rinaldo Alessandrini and featuring one of my favourite vocalists contralto Sara Mingardo was too great to resist. I have not been disappointed. I am quite hard pushed to announce which of the two I prefer or would recommend; in fact I'm going to have to decline to do so. Whichever one you choose, you will be assured of possessing a truly fine recording of a masterwork which will give you great pleasure again and again.