Notes & Reviews:
Recorded for Wigmore Hall Live in January 2010 by the Early Opera Company, one of Britain’s leading early music ensembles, the group features contralto Hilary Summers in the traditional countertenor role of enlightenment, her voice specifically chosen for its depth and fullness of tone. Director and harpsichordist, Christian Curnyn, was determined to recreate as faithful a sound as possible to what audiences at the time would have heard, not only instrumentally but notably in relation to tempi: "Everything in Handel comes back to the heartbeat rate, fifty per minute. Recently people have tended to go either very fast or make things very dragged out, but in my view that spoils it. Baroque music is all based on dance, which means a natural rhythm. Of course you should push the boundaries, but it should feel as though you’re pushing against a natural membrane. There’s an inner pulse in Handel which you can’t ignore."
"Il trionfo del Tempo e del Disinganno is not frequently performed these days, and yet not two months have passed since I reported on the last London performance, by the Classical Opera Company at King’s Place. I was rather concerned that reviewing two accounts of the same piece in such quick succession might be rather too much of a good thing. But from the first notes of the opening sonata del overtura it was clear that this concert at the Wigmore Hall by the Early Opera Company, under its founder and musical director Christian Curnyn, was going to be a performance of an altogether warmer character.” - Opera Britannia (Concert Review)
"Curnyn's choice of tempi and his measured use of embellishment allow Handel's glorious score to speak for itself...Lucy Crowe is in thrilling form as Beauty; Andrew Staples delights as Tempo; rich-toned Hilary Summers is authoritative as Disinganno and Anna Stephany, as Piacere, brings a special warmth to the signature aria "Lascia la spina"." -The Observer
"Vivaciously detailed yet anchored to an even heartbeat, Christian Curnyn's performance with the EOC shows just how rich the sound of a small orchestra can be. If Lucy Crowe's Bellezza has the finest aria ("Tu del Ciel ministro..."), Anna Stephany's elegant Piacere, Hilary Summer's coppery Disinganno and Andrew Staples' bluff Tempo lend stylish support" -The Independent on Sunday
"it is Crowe who takes the vocal laurels here and would be my main reason for recommending the set. Each of her arias is a highlight" -International Record Review
"Curnyn and his lithe ensemble make the most of the often sensual instrumental colouring." -Sunday Times***
"[Crowe is] breathtaking in pyrotechnic displays of virtuosity as she dismisses the threatening ravages of Time. She's ideally matched duetting with Anna Stephany as Piacere (Pleasure), and accompanied by some of the best Baroque oboe-playing I've heard. Hilary Summers as Enlightenment is a remarkable contralto. An outstanding achievement." -BBC Music Magazine*****
"throughout the concert the string-playing is immaculate...Anna Stephany reins her voice in with admirable discipline and there is a nice atmosphere of chamber music-making between her vocal lines and solos by organist Mark Williams...Crowe's animated coloratura is executed with precision and refinement, her embellishments strik[ing] the ideal balance between unpredictability and fitting the harmony naturally." -Gramophone Magazine
Recording information: Wigmore Hall, London (01/29/2010).
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Works DetailsHandel, George Frideric : Il Trionfo del Tempo e del Disinganno
- Conductor: Christian Curnyn
- Ensemble: Early Opera Company
- Notes: Composition written: 1707.
- Running Time: 124 min. 52 sec.
- Period Time: Baroque
- Form: Cantata/Oratorio
- Written: 1707