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Ludus Baroque new releases Handel ‘The Triumph of Time & Truth’

Triumph of Time & Truth

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Handel’s last oratorio also turns out to be his first. The original version was written in Italy in 1707, but the work was expanded, and its text translated to English, for a performance in London 50 years later. The soloists are cast in allegorical roles – Beauty, Deceit, Truth, Pleasure and Time – with Beauty and Pleasure compelled by Truth and Time to accept their transient nature. Richard Neville-Towle leads his Scottish forces in a propulsive and light-footed account. The performance style is at the stricter end of the historically informed spectrum, with fast tempos, particularly in the choruses, and clearly defined instrumental colours. But there is warmth here too, from the relatively large string section and from the resonant acoustic of the Kanongate Kirk, Edinburgh. Soprano Sophie Bevan struggles with some of the top notes in one of her arias, but otherwise gives the best of the vocal performances. All five soloists are good, though, each with an attractive and individual tone, and all with clear pronunciation. The soloists occasionally seem a little distant, but the sound engineering is otherwise good, both realistic and involving. Another comp