A Morality Tale From Handel

Top class work from four soloists that's worth seeking out.

Composer: Handel
Repertoire: Il trionfo del Tempo e il Disinganno
Artists: Roberta Invernizzi (sop), Kate Aldrich (mz), Martin Oro (ct), Jörg Dürmüller (ten), Academia Montis Regalis/Alessandro de Marchi
Rating: 4/5

Genre: Vocal
Label: Hyperion CDA67681/2

Il trionfo was Handel’s first and last oratorio: he reworked it 50 years after its composition, in English, as The Triumph of Time and Truth. This is the earlier version, in Italian, an allegorical morality tale where the wise Tempo (Time) and Disinganno (Enlightenment) help airheaded Bellezza (Beauty) and hedonistic Piacere (Pleasure) realise the error of their ways. The recitative-aria structure showcases four top-class soloists in plaintive melodies, fizzing coloratura and touching duets. Academia Montis Regalis is highly regarded for its Baroque interpretations and plays with sophistication. If this performance doesn’t have the quality of Emmanuelle Haim’s sometimes off-the-wall version, it’s still worth seeking out.