Handel’s “Trionfo del Tempo”: Amanda Forsythe and Voices of Music

In the aria, Tu del Ciel ministro eletto (“You, elected minister of Heaven”), George Frideric Handel evokes the continuous flow of time, melting into eternity.

This is the cosmic concluding aria from Trionfo del Tempo (“The Triumph of Time and Truth”), Handel’s first oratorio, written in the spring of 1707. It is one of only two oratorios Handel set in Italian. (The twenty-two year old composer was living in Rome at the time). Cardinal Benedetto Pamphili’s libretto dramatizes a debate between Beauty, Pleasure, Time and Disillusion. In this final movement, Beauty offers a meditation to the angels to acquire ultimate, lasting Truth. From the opening recitative, this music is filled with mystery. The aria is set above a steady, unrelenting rhythmic heartbeat, giving us a sense of endlessly unfolding time. Listen to the conversation which develops between the voice and solo violin.

This live performance from last March features soprano Amanda Forsythe and the San Francisco-based early music ensemble, Voices of Music:

Earlier in Trionfo del Tempo comes the ferocious Un pensiero nemico di pace (“A thought, the enemy of peace”) which “Caused fleeting Time to be greedily devoured.” Here is Amanda Forsythe’s virtuosic performance from the same Voices of Music concert:

Recordings

  • Handel: Trionfo del Tempo, HWV 46a, Aix Festival (complete, staged performance) Amazon
  • Amanda Forsythe’s complete discography
  • Voices of Music discography Amazon

Photograph by Tatiana Daubek

About Timothy Judd

A native of Upstate New York, Timothy Judd has been a member of the Richmond Symphony violin section since 2001. He is a graduate of the Eastman School of Music where he earned the degrees Bachelor of Music and Master of Music, studying with world renowned Ukrainian-American violinist Oleh Krysa.

The son of public school music educators, Timothy Judd began violin lessons at the age of four through Eastman’s Community Education Division. He was a student of Anastasia Jempelis, one of the earliest champions of the Suzuki method in the United States.

A passionate teacher, Mr. Judd has maintained a private violin studio in the Richmond area since 2002 and has been active coaching chamber music and numerous youth orchestra sectionals.

In his free time, Timothy Judd enjoys working out with Richmond’s popular SEAL Team Physical Training program.

1 thought on “Handel’s “Trionfo del Tempo”: Amanda Forsythe and Voices of Music”

  1. The Handel is delightful! Esp the 2nd excerpt, time fleeting away, but beautifully in the harmonies of the violins and soprano! Thanks.

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