The Triumph of Time and Truth

2 CD set
£16 plus P&P

Music Web International
'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.'

Sophie Bevan soprano
Mary Bevan Soprano
Tim Mead Countertenor
Ed Lyon Tenor
William Berger Bass

Ludus Baroque
Oliver Webber Orchestra leader
Will Dawes Chorus leader
Richard Neville-Towle Conductor

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.

Featured as BBC Radio 3's CD review in August 2014, the Aria 'Pleasure submits to pain' was broadcast. The disc received high praise from Andrew McGregor, who commended the 'fine solo contributions' and 'stylish instrumental playing'. But for him, 'the highlight is the chorus... it's all pleasure here, there is no pain to speak of'.

Track listing


Act One

  1. Ouverture
  2. Chorus: Time is supreme
  3. Recitative (Beauty): How happy could I linger here
  4. Air (Beauty): Faithful mirror
  5. Recitative (Pleasure/Beauty): Fear not! I, Pleasure, swear
  6. Air (Pleasure): Pensive sorrow
  7. Air (Beauty): Sorrow darkens ev’ry feature
  8. Air and Chorus: Come, come! Live with Pleasure
  9. Recitative (Time/Counsel): Turn, look on me! Behold old Time
  10. Air (Counsel): The beauty smiling
  11. Recitative (Pleasure/Beauty/Time/Counsel): Our pow’rs we all will try
  12. Air (Beauty): Ever-flowing tides of pleasure
  13. Recitative (Time): The hand of Time pulls down
  14. Air (Time): Loathsome urns
  15. Chorus: Strengthen us, O Time
  16. Recitative (Deceit): Too rigid the reproof you give
  17. Air (Deceit): Happy Beauty
  18. Air (Deceit) and Chorus: Happy, if still they reign in pleasure
  19. Recitative (Counsel/Time/Pleasure): Youth is not rich in Time
  20. Air (Time) and Chorus: Like the shadow, life ever is flying

Act Two (beginning)

  1. Chorus: Pleasure submits to pain
  2. Recitative (Pleasure/Beauty): Here Pleasure keeps his # splendid court
  3. Chorus: Oh, how great the glory
  4. Air (Pleasure) and Chorus: Dryads, sylvans, with fair Flora
  5. Air (Deceit): No more complaining
  6. Air (Deceit): Pleasure’s gentle Zephyrs playing
  7. Air (Beauty): Come, O Time


Act Two (continued)

  1. Air (Counsel): Mortals think that Time is sleeping
  2. Recitative (Time): You hoped to call in vain
  3. Air (Time): False destructive ways of Pleasure
  4. Recitative (Counsel/Time): Too long deluded you have been
  5. Air (Pleasure): Lovely Beauty, close those eyes
  6. Recitative (Deceit): Seek not to know
  7. Air (Deceit): Melancholy is a folly
  8. Recitative (Time/Beauty): What is the present hour?
  9. Air (Beauty): Fain would I, two hearts enjoying
  10. Recitative (Counsel): Vain the delights of age or youth
  11. Air (Counsel): On the valleys
  12. Recitative (Time/Beauty/Counsel): Not venial error this
  13. Chorus: Ere to dust is changed thy beauty

Act Three

  1. Sinfonia
  2. Recitative (Deceit): Once more I thee address
  3. Air (Deceit): Charming Beauty
  4. Recitative (Beauty): Tempt me no more
  5. Air (Deceit): Sharp thorns despising
  6. Recitative (Counsel/Beauty): Regard her not
  7. Air (Beauty): Pleasure! My former ways resigning
  8. Chorus: Comfort them, O Lord
  9. Recitative (Beauty/Pleasure/Counsel): Since the immortal mirror I possess
  10. Air (Counsel): Thus to earth, thou false, delusive, flatt’ring mirror
  11. Recitative (Beauty): O mighty Truth!
  12. Air (Time): From the heart that feels my warning
  13. Recitative (Beauty/Pleasure): Pleasure, too long associates we have been
  14. Air (Pleasure): Like clouds, stormy winds them impelling
  15. Recitative (Beauty): She’s gone; and Truth, descending
  16. Air (Beauty): Guardian angels
  17. Chorus: Hallelujah