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G.F.Handel - The Triumph of Time and Truth, HWV71

Posted By: First Amendment
G.F.Handel - The Triumph of Time and Truth, HWV71

G.F.Handel - The Triumph of Time and Truth, HWV71
EAC Rip | FLAC+LOG+CUE | Covers & Booklet (jpg) | 2 RAR (651 MB)
2 CD | Classical | 2005 | Hyperion | Playing Time: 123'29"

The Triumph of Time and Truth was Handel's last oratorio. But its composition goes back half a century, to his very first work in the form, Il trionfo del Tempo e del Disinganno, written in Italy in 1707. For years Handel laid that work aside, or rather used it as a quarry for others (for example one of his best-known opera arias, "Lascia ch'io pianga" from Rinaldo, began life in that work); but, in 1737 he resurrected it, as Il trionfo del Tempo e della Verità ("Time and Truth" rather than the original "Time and Innocence"), with much new music. Then, at the very end of his oratorio career, when his impaired eyesight made fresh composition increasingly burdensome, he put together a further work on the same basis. This time he had the Italian text, the work of Cardinal Pamphili, put into English by his old colleague Thomas Morell, and extra English words were added, mainly for choruses which though never an important part of the Italian oratorio tradition had a firmly established place in the English one. But he wrote virtually no new music, instead adapting pieces from a variety of his earlier works (anthems, occasional sacred works, in particular). This was in 1757. He revived the work the next year, enlarging one of the roles (Deceit) though again largely drawing on earlier works. The version given here omits the 1758 additions, presumably for the sake of fitting the piece on to two discs, which is understandable and justifiable; the 1757 version is given complete bar a small amount of recitative and two choruses taken unchanged—and quite inappropriately— from anthems. The knowledgeable Handelian listener will find the work entertaining because, Hamlet-like, it is 'full of quotations', also because it contains a great deal of first-rate music. I am not sure to what degree Handel was fired by this kind of allegorical and moralistic oratorio libretto; probably not very greatly in his mature years. But there are many fine, fresh ideas in his Italian-period compositions, and of these a goodly number are to be heard here, alongside generally choice pieces from works that he had not lately revived and were thus unfamiliar to audiences at the time. It is not consistently the best Handel. Time has some unexceptional pieces, but certainly there are excellent ones for the central figure, Beauty (who finally opts for Time as against Pleasure, thus taking Counsel's opinion in spite of the blandishments of Deceit)— from her spirited "Ever flowing tides of Pleasure" in the First Act to the gorgeous E major glow of her closing one, "Guardian angels, oh, protect me", a soft, intense yet serene piece with obbligato oboe, somewhat akin to Semele's "Sleep" aria in the same key. And there are some excellent choruses, of which the one beginning Act 2, "Pleasure submits to pain" (from a movement composed for the Anglo-Italian Acis revival of 1732, and including in its middle section music from the original "Behold the monster Polypheme"), is an unalloyed delight—for this alone I would need to have these records.
Denys Darlow, who is head of music at the church which Handel himself attended (St George's in Hanover Square), has done much for the Handelian cause in his annual festivals there (as I write, he is on the point of performing the rarest of the oratorios, Joseph and his Brethren). This work was given there two years ago. I am grateful to have it on record and can say that the performance gives a very good idea of the piece. Darlow chooses sensible tempos, and is a reliable stylist: ornamentation is done but not overdone, appoggiaturas are correctly in place, cadences are properly elided, rhythms conventionally adjusted and so on. One might raise an eyebrow at the solo violin, as opposed to the indicated tutti, in one aria, and the questionable use of the .bassoon as a continuo instrument in another. Generally the orchestral playing, on period instruments, is clean and efficient, with pleasantly airy articulation from the strings and even some pleasing oboe solos; the timbres and textures are happily light. Much of the solo singing is satisfactory too. It is slightly unfortunate that the very distinguished contribution of Emma Kirkby is so small (the 1758 additions were mostly for her role, Deceit); but Gillian Fisher, as Beauty, does well too with her light and easy delivery and unaffected manner, heard at their best in the two arias I mentioned above. Charles Brett, with his distinctive alto, gives a dependable account of Counsel's music, sometimes even with a touch of virtuosity (notably in "Thus to ground" in the last act). I have to say that Ian Partridge's casting as Pleasure seems a shade bizarre; unfailingly musical, and always accurate, he is nevertheless not quite the singer to inspire or suggest the wilder realms of joy with his diligent, almost painstaking manner. And there are places where his tone seems rather plummy in the middle register. Lastly, there is Stephen Varcoe as Time—much finely shaded singing, with a delicacy rare among Handel basses, if perhaps not quite the weight of authority one might reckon desirable in this role. The choral singing, by a mixed group, is accurate and well focused. The recording, clear and well balanced, serves well. There is an admirable sleeve-note by Watkins Shaw, and the libretto is usefully annotated with information about the musical origins of the various numbers. (S.S. Gramophone June 1983 Page 68)


TRACKS



CD1

Act 1 No 01: Overture
Act 1 No 02. Chorus: Time is supreme
Act 1 No 03. Recitative: How happy could I linger here (Beauty)
Act 1 No 04. Air: Faithful mirror, fair-reflecting (Beauty)
Act 1 No 05. Recitative: Fear not! I, Pleasure, swear (Pleasure/Beauty)
Act 1 No 06. Air: Pensive sorrow, deep-possessing (Pleasure)
Act 1 No 07. Air: Come, come! live with Pleasure (Beauty/Chorus)
Act 1 No 08. Recitative: Turn, look on me! (Time/Counsel)
Act 1 No 09. Air: The Beauty smiling (Counsel)
Act 1 No 10. Recitative: Our different powers we'll try (Pleasure/Beauty/Time/Counsel)
Act 1 No 11. Air: Ever-flowing tides of pleasure (Beauty)
Act 1 No 12. Recitative: The hand of Time pulls down (Time)
Act 1 No 13. Air: Loathsome urns, disclose your treasure (Time)
Act 1 No 14. Chorus: Strengthen us, O Time, with all thy lore
Act 1 No 15. Recitative: Too rigid the reproof you give (Deceit)
Act 1 No 16. Air: Happy, if still they reign in pleasure (Deceit/Chorus)
Act 1 No 17. Recitative: Youth is not rich in Time (Counsel/Time/Pleasure)
Act 1 No 18. Air: Like the shadow, life ever is flying (Time/Chorus)
Act 2 No 01. Chorus: Pleasure submits to pain
Act 2 No 02. Recitative: Here Pleasure keeps his splendid court (Pleasure/Beauty)
Act 2 No 03. Chorus: Oh, how great the glory
Act 2 No 04. Air: Dryads, Sylvans, with fair Flora (Pleasure/Chorus)

CD2

Act 2 No 05. Air: Come, O Time, and thy broad wings displaying (Beauty)
Act 2 No 06. Air: Mortals think that Time is sleeping (Counsel)
Act 2 No 07. Recitative: You hoped to call in vain, but see me here (Time)
Act 2 No 08. Air: False destructive ways of Pleasure (Time)
Act 2 No 09. Recitative: Too long deluded you have been (Counsel/Time)
Act 2 No 10. Air: Lovely Beauty, close those eyes (Pleasure)
Act 2 No 11. Recitative: Seek not to know what known will prove (Deceit)
Act 2 No 12. Air: Melancholy (Deceit)
Act 2 No 13. Recitative: What is the present hour? 'tis born and gone! (Time/Beauty)
Act 2 No 14. Air: Fain would I, two hearts enjoying (Beauty)
Act 2 No 15. Recitative: Vain the delights of age or youth (Counsel)
Act 2 No 16. Air: On the valleys, dark and cheerless (Counsel)
Act 2 No 17. Recitative: Not venial error this, but stubborn pride (Time/Beauty/Counsel)
Act 2 No 18. Chorus: Ere to dust is changed thy beauty
Act 3 No 01: Sinfonia
Act 3 No 02. Recitative: Once more I thee address (Deceit/Beauty)
Act 3 No 03. Air: Sharp thorns despising (Deceit)
Act 3 No 04. Recitative: Regard her not. Unvalued here (Counsel/Beauty)
Act 3 No 05. Air: Pleasure! My former ways resigning (Beauty)
Act 3 No 06. Recitative: Since the immortal mirror I possess (Beauty/Pleasure/Counsel)
Act 3 No 07. Air: Thus to ground, thou false, delusive (Counsel)
Act 3 No 08. Recitative: O mighty Truth! thy power I see (Beauty)
Act 3 No 09. Air: From the heart that feels my warning (Time)
Act 3 No 10. Recitative: Pleasure, too long associates we have been (Beauty/Pleasure)
Act 3 No 11. Air: Like clouds, stormy winds then impelling (Pleasure)
Act 3 No 12. Recitative: Farewell; – now Truth, descending from the sky (Beauty)
Act 3 No 13. Air: Guardian angels, oh, protect me (Beauty)
Act 3 No 14. Chorus: Alleluja!


FILESONIC


FILESERVE



G.F.Handel - The Triumph of Time and Truth, HWV71

Emma and Denys in 2007


DRAMATIS PERSONAE

Gillian Fisher (soprano) Beauty
Emma Kirkby (soprano) Deceit
Charles Brett (countertenor) Truth
Ian Partridge (tenor) Pleasure
Stephen Varcoe (bass) Time

London Handel Choir and Orchestra
leader: Roy Goodman
conductor: Denys Darlow


to whom it may concern:

please note that if I change the offset correction to any value different from 0 my system hangs 8 times out of 10. No use switching drives. At the moment this is all I can do, though my ears tell me the result is not that bad ;)




Exact Audio Copy V0.99 prebeta 4 from 23. January 2008

EAC extraction logfile from 30. April 2009, 17:54

Handel - The Triumph of Time and Truth CD1

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Null samples used in CRC calculations : Yes
Used interface : Native Win32 interface for Win NT & 2000

Used output format : C:\EAC\Flac\flac.exe (User Defined Encoder)
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Additional command line options : -V -6 -T "artist=%a" -T "title=%t" -T "album=%g" -T "date=%y" -T "tracknumber=%n" -T "genre=%m" %s

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Range status and errors

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Copy CRC CBBE8F21
Copy OK

No errors occurred

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Exact Audio Copy V0.99 prebeta 4 from 23. January 2008

EAC extraction logfile from 30. April 2009, 17:21

Handel - The Triumph of Time and Truth CD2

Used drive : HL-DT-STDVD-ROM GDR8162B Adapter: 1 ID: 1

Read mode : Secure
Utilize accurate stream : Yes
Defeat audio cache : Yes
Make use of C2 pointers : No

Read offset correction : 0
Overread into Lead-In and Lead-Out : No
Fill up missing offset samples with silence : Yes
Delete leading and trailing silent blocks : No
Null samples used in CRC calculations : Yes
Used interface : Native Win32 interface for Win NT & 2000

Used output format : C:\EAC\Flac\flac.exe (User Defined Encoder)
320 kBit/s
Additional command line options : -V -6 -T "artist=%a" -T "title=%t" -T "album=%g" -T "date=%y" -T "tracknumber=%n" -T "genre=%m" %s

TOC of the extracted CD

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Range status and errors

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Peak level 97.7 %
Range quality 100.0 %
Copy CRC 23B06A68
Copy OK

No errors occurred

End of status report