Handel: The Triumph of Time and Truth (2CDs)

Ludus Baroque and five stellar soloists bring to life Handel’s rarely heard final oratorio, a remarkable Protestant re-casting of a work written fifty years earlier to a text by the young composer’s 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-Towle’s carefully assembled cast of exceptional soloists, vigorous, intelligent chorus and an orchestra made up from some of the UK’s 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."

"The small orchestra playing is stylish and characterful...Excellent, spirited singing from both choir and soloists throughout – Ludus Baroque's most valuable Handel recording so far confirms that this unclassifiable, peculiar work is well worth revisiting."

"Graceful singing from a fine British cast — Sophie Bevan outstanding...— reveal a work of profound beauty."

"the music of The Triumph of Time and Truth, Handel’s last oratorio before he died in 1759, is of such strength, freshness and radiance – notably so in this buoyant, scrupulously characterised performance by the early-music group Ludus Baroque and a glorious line-up of soloists."

"finely shaped, unflamboyant conducting from Neville-Towle, gracious playing and some very fine singing. Sophie Bevan plays Beauty in what is arguably her finest recording to date. Her sister Mary as Deceit sounds at once seductive and cunning, while Ed Lyon is all elegant bravado and swagger as Pleasure."

"Keep an eye on this Ludus/Delphian partnership."

"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...There is so much first class music to be heard in this rarely-performed oratorio."

"A delight from start to finish. Instrumental contributions are crisp and stylish, the young cast are excellent (especially scene-stealers Mary and Sophie Bevan), and the production comes across with energy and panache."

"This new recording is an excellent one, with young singers not previously familiar to me."


Producer: Paul Baxter
Recording venue(s): Canongate Kirk, Edinburgh
Recording dates: 4-7 August 2013
Physical format: Jewel case (slimline double)
Number of discs: 2
Number of tracks: 57
Release date: 30 June 2014
Total playing time: 2:34:43
Album ID: DCD34135

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