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Handel: The Triumph Of Time & Truth

5.0 out of 5 stars 3 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Conductor: Richard Neville-Towle
  • Composer: George Frideric Handel
  • Audio CD (30 Jun. 2014)
  • Number of Discs: 2
  • Label: Delphian Records
  • ASIN: B00KPS9TV8
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 126,753 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Track Listings

Disc: 1

  1. Overture
  2. Time Is Supreme
  3. How Happy Could I Linger Here
  4. Faithful Mirror
  5. Fear Not! I, Pleasure, Swear
  6. Pensive Sorrow
  7. Sorrow Darkens Ev'ry Feature
  8. Come, Come! Live With Pleasure
  9. Turn, Look On Me! Behold Old Time
  10. The Beauty Smiling
  11. Our Pow'rs We All Will Try
  12. Ever-flowing Tides of Pleasure
  13. The Hand of Time Pulls Down
  14. Loathsome Urns
  15. Strengthen Us, O Time
  16. Too Rigid the Reproof You Give
  17. Happy Beauty
  18. Happy, If Still They Reign in Pleasure
  19. Youth Is Not Rich in Time
  20. Like the Shadow, Life Ever Is Flying
  21. Pleasure Submits to Pain
  22. Here Pleasure Keeps His Splendid Court
  23. Oh, How Great the Glory
  24. Dryads, Sylvans, With Fair Flora
  25. No More Complaining
  26. Pleasure's Gentle Zephyrs Playing
  27. Come, O Time

Disc: 2

  1. Mortals Think That Time Is Sleeping
  2. You Hoped to Call in Vain
  3. False Destructive Ways of Pleasure
  4. Too Long Deluded You Have Been
  5. Lovely Beauty, Close Those Eyes
  6. Seek Not to Know
  7. Melancholy Is a Folly
  8. What Is the Present Hour?
  9. Fain Would I, Two Hearts Enjoying
  10. Vain the Delights of Age Or Youth
  11. On the Valleys
  12. Not Venial Error This
  13. Ere to Dust Is Changed Thy Beauty
  14. Sinfonia
  15. Once More I Thee Address
  16. Charming Beauty
  17. Tempt Me No More
  18. Sharp Thorns Despising
  19. Regard Her Not
  20. Pleasure! My Former Ways Resigning
  21. Comfort Them, O Lord
  22. Since the Immortal Mirror I Possess
  23. Thus to Earth, Thou False, Delusive, Flatt'ring Mirror
  24. O Mighty Truth!
  25. From the Heart That Feels My Warning
  26. Pleasure, Too Long Associates We Have Been
  27. Like Clouds, Stormy Winds Them Impelling
  28. She's Gone, and Truth, Descending
  29. Guardian Angels
  30. Hallelujah

Product Description

Product Description

Ludus Baroque and five stellar soloists bring to life Handels rarely heard final oratorio, a remarkable Protestant re-casting of a work written fifty years earlier to a text by the young composers Roman patron Cardinal Pamphilj. Compelled by Time and Truth to accept the divine order of change and decay, Beauty ultimately gives way as with the aging composer himself to an assertion of redemption by good works, reflected in the incorporation of choruses Handel had written for the Foundling Hospital. The resulting work, neglected by centuries of scholarship on account of its hybrid origins, here proves an extraordinary feast of riches, and the ideal vehicle for Richard Neville-Towles carefully assembled cast of exceptional soloists, vigorous, intelligent chorus and an orchestra made up from some of the UKs leading period instrumentalists.


Both Bevans sing with lustrous tone, natural agility and exquisite decorations, Lyon and William Berger (Time) with taut elegance and Tim Mead (Counsel) with immaculate poise. Though Neville-Towle's tempos sometimes waver, this is a performance of great warmth, with infectious solos from Jan Waterfield on the harpsichord and organ, characterful strings, oboes, recorders, bassoon and corni da caccia, and a pleasingly natural, expressive choir. (Perf. ****, Rec. ****) --BBC Music Magazine

9/10 (recording) 9/10 (music) 'Ludus Baroque … [consists of] some of the best baroque performers from all over the country … [they are] clearly at one with the music, and understand the stylistic interpretations that were intended … Once again Delphian has put together an impressive album. Both disks have had extensive playing, and I am still thoroughly enjoying them! Well worth purchasing.' --Pete Trewin, Hi-Fi Plus Magazine, September 2014

'Keep an eye on this Ludus/Delphian partnership' --John T. Hughes, International Record Review, September 2014

Ludus Baroque under Richard Neville-Towle gives a fine account of the Overture … The singers taking the solo parts are excellent and the balance superb. As the music becomes increasingly complex every word can clearly be heard in the finely balanced recording … There is so much first class music to be heard in this rarely-performed oratorio. --Geoffrey Molyneux Music Web International, 13th October 2014

'Keep an eye on this Ludus/Delphian partnership' --John T. Hughes, International Record Review, September 2014

'A delight from start to finish... the production comes across with energy and panache.' --Classical Music

: 'Richard Neville-Towle s direction is assured and evidences great sympathy for and commitment to the music. He invests the quick music with vitality but is also ready to make the most of Handel s slower, sensuous opportunities. The recitatives are crisp and stylish. Overall one has the impression that a skilled and seasoned Handelian is at the helm... Once again engineer Paul Baxter has presented a performance in excellent, clear sound with just the right degree of ambience... It s a fine and enjoyable recording which lovers of Handel oratorios should ensure they hear.' --Music Web International

Customer Reviews

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Top Customer Reviews

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This was an oratorio of G F Handel I just did not know and now I have listened to this performance I am quite delighted with what I
have heard.
The singers are good singers and the instrumental accompaniment is excellent making the overall performance of a new work for me a most pleasurable experience and one which I would, without doubt recommend to other lovers of the Baroque period and indeed of oratorio. I shall replay it over and over again as time goes by and most happily add it to my very large collection of CDs !
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Ludus Baroque is an assembly of young baroque specialists that convenes biannually at the Canongate Kirk in Edinburgh under the Canongate's Director of Music. They have previously recorded two English odes by Handel, and here, more ambitiously, they present Handel's last English oratorio, first put on in 1757, two years before he died.

The discs afford much pleasure. The choir (19 voices) sound fresh and keen, singing accurately with excellent diction; the band (6-2-2-1 + wind & brass) play with relaxed unanimity. Neville-Towle has a good instinct for Handel style, without any striving for effect. No skiffle-group continuo or lurching phrases here. The soloists are a little variable, but are all competent, and some much more than that. Only once - in the da capo of "Sharp thorns despising" - did over-enthusiasm conquer style. Nothing says this is a concert recording, but presumably it follows a concert, and it has some of that slight roughness one associates with live performance, or at least long takes - a price well worth paying for the vivacity of the result. The recording presents the choir and band in realistic church acoustic (which works musically though it is not appropriate historically) but partly spoils the effect by privileging the soloists.

"The Triumph of Time and Truth" is an oddity. We might imagine it as a sort of commentary on Handel's whole career, as its core is music he wrote for his first Italian oratorio exactly fifty years previously, in 1707. The writer of the notes attempts to make such a case. The reality is less romantic. Handel was ageing badly by 1757, and this "oratorio" is just a revival of a revival. The old Italian work had been expanded and put on in London in 1737, and now it was given again with an English text.
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A.good rendition.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 4.7 out of 5 stars 6 reviews
14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Handel's Last--and First 27 July 2014
By Paul Van de Water - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
"The Triumph of Time and Truth" (HWV 71) is Handel's last oratorio, but it's also a direct descendent of his first. Handel wrote the original version of the work, "Il Trionfo del Tempo e del Disinganno" (The Triumph of Time and Dis-Illusion, HWV 46a), during his formative stay in Italy in 1707. He produced a second Italian-language version ("Il Trionfo del Tempo e della Verita," or The Triumph of Time and Truth, HWV 46b) for London in 1737. At the end of his life, in 1757, Handel produced this third, English version. This recording follows the 1758 revival (according to Gramophone), in a new performing edition by Clifford Bartlett (says Bachtrack).

The work comprises a moralistic debate between the allegorical characters Beauty, Pleasure, Deceit, Time, and Truth. The notes describe it as "an allegory of the warfare of moral feeling versus pleasurable senses," "a reflection on the ephemeral nature of beauty," and an "extended contemplation of mortality." It concludes with an appeal to heaven to be strengthened in faith, hope, and love, followed by a final alleluia.

Ludus Baroque is a Scottish group, and this recording was made in 2013 following a performance at the Edinburgh Fringe in 2012. The Guardian describes the performance as "nicely done . . . , with finely shaped unflamboyant conducting from Neville-Towe, gracious playing and some very fine singing." Sophie Bevan and the other soloists provide stylish (and not excessive) ornamentation in the da capo sections of the arias.

Denys Darlow and a fine group of soloists, including the divine Emma Kirkby, made an excellent recording of this work for Hyperion in 1982. Handel: The Triumph of Time and Truth It has given me great pleasure over the years and stands up quite well against the new competition. Nonetheless, this new Delphian release edges out its predecessor in terms of performance practice and sound quality.

This best recording of the first version of the oratorio is by Alessandrini on Naïve. Il Trionfo Del Tempo And there's a very good recording of the second version available on Naxos conducted by J.C. Martini. Handel: Il Trionfo del Tempo e della Verita (HWV 46b)
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A TRIUMPH FOR HANDEL PERFORMANCE 30 July 2014
By Harry Sillen - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Having been somewhat dissatisfied by previous recordings of this lovely work, and also leery since the latest recordings of Handel's music from Britain have been so disappointing, I awaited this recording with misgivings. These misgivings were not necessary. Finally we have a performance of a Handel opera or oratorio where the ladies do not disappoint. Beautiful voices, well used and beautifully modulated, recorded in a very nice acoustic. The playing of Ludus Baroque is spirited and the chorus sound as if there were enjoying themselves. It is nice to be able to report that all of the soloists are of great quality and sing stylishly and with command of the, sometimes difficult, music. Handel's "re-working" of "Il Trionfo del Tempo e del Disinganno" gives it a completely new feel; it might have been a completely new work. Bravo!
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This is an excellent recording of Handel's last oratorio 30 July 2014
By jlh - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
This is an excellent recording of Handel's last oratorio, beautifully performed and well recorded. The work itself is not as consistently inspired as Handel at his best, but some of the music (e.g., the beginning numbers of Act Two) ranks as the equal of anything he ever composed. Warmly recommended to all lovers of baroque vocal music.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars More complete than the Hyperion recording, but... 26 April 2015
By ealovitt - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
I have two versions of Handel's "The Triumph of Time and Truth," this version by Ludus Baroque, Scotland's chamber orchestra and chorus specializing in the early music repertoire, and the Hyperion recording with the London Handel Choir and Orchestra. This Ludus Baroque (LB) version is much more complete than the Hyperion (H) recording, the 2-CD set running 154 minutes 43 seconds. The Hyperion 2-CD set runs for 123 minutes 29 seconds.

Another obvious difference is the depth of the accompaniment: the London Handel Choir and Orchestra sound much more robust, the Scots thinner, more ethereal and the tempi tend to be slower (except for the chorus, "Oh, how great the glory" in which the singers set a new land speed record.) The soloists in both versions are very fine, although you might object to London's Time, who occasionally wanders off pitch. However, London's got Emma Kirkby (Deceit) and Gillian Fisher (Beauty), two exceptional sopranos. The Ludus Baroque soloists are allowed much more freedom to ornament Handel's music, so if you enjoy this performance practice this might be the version you prefer.

The final edition of 'The Triumph of Time and Truth' didn't appear in England until 1757, two years before the composer's death. But, according to the liner notes by Peter Smaill, a Baroque musicology specialist, it "is also in a sense among the 'first' of Handel's works, for its core remains the 1707 text by Handel's Roman patron Cardinal Benedetto Pamphilj, 'Il Trionfo del Tempo e del Disinganno.'"

So much of the music is sprightly, sometimes wistful, sometimes dreaming: a young man's vision of nymphs disporting themselves in a leafy glade. When we reach the end of the oratorio, the music finally does grow old as Beauty sadly decides to reform: "Guardian angels, oh, protect me,/ And in Virtue's path direct me,/ While resigned to Heaven above./ Let no more this world deceive me,/ Nor let idle passions grieve me,/ Strong in faith, in hope, in love." Only at the very end, do we hear the Handel of "Sampson" and "Theodora," Handel of the Old Testament, Handel of the martyrs and saints.

Yes, Time and Truth are ultimately triumphant, but not before we hear Handel at his most charming. If I had to choose between these two recordings, I would have to say that I prefer the Hyperion version. Although the Ludus Baroque recording is more complete, it sometimes sounds lugubrious when it should be at its most sprightly--perhaps because of the slower tempi.
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars 8 May 2015
By JAN BARNHART - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Exotic and delightful piece - Splendid performance - Superb soloists
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