The Triumph of Time and Truth


The Triumph of Time and Truth

"The Triumph of Time and Truth" is an oratorio by George Frideric Handel which has seen three iterations across 50 years of Handel's career. HWV 46a is an Italian oratorio from 1707, in 1737 Handel revised and expanded the oratorio to create HWV 46b, and HWV 71 is the work expanded and revised again, possibly without much involvement at all by Handel, into an English-language oratorio from 1757.

Il trionfo del tempo e del disinganno

Under the title which translates "The Triumph of Time and Dis-illusion" (HWV 46a), Handel composed his very first oratorio to a libretto by Cardinal Benedetto Pamphili. The work, which consisted of two sections, was composed in the Spring of 1707 and premiered that summer in Rome.

Il trionfo del tempo e della verità

Thirty years later, living in England and producing seasons of both English-language oratorio and Italian opera, Handel revised and expanded "Il trionfo" to a three-section work under the new title which translates as "The Triumph of Time and Truth" (HWV 46b) in March of 1737 for a premiere on 23 March 1737. 3 more performances followed within the month and one more in a revival for the 1739 season.

The Triumph of Time and Truth

While Jeptha is considered Handel's final oratorio, this again-revised version of "Il trionfo" (HWV 71) dates from 1757. The libretto has been reworked into English (probably by Thomas Morell) and the oratorio again expanded. Handel's health at this time was very poor, and his contribution (if any) to this "new" work is uncertain. John Christopher Smith Jr. probably assembled the score.


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