John Eliot Gardiner and his period instrument ensemble produce a lovely, smooth sound in these very well played performances, which use Handel's versions for strings and winds. Balances are fine; playing and recording collaborate to produce a treasurable clarity in which every line registers. –Leslie Gerber … Handel's epic oratorio, Israel in Egypt, here in a gripping performance by John Eliot Gardiner and the Monteverdi Choir and Orchestra, was a failure during Handel's lifetime. This was perhaps because of its immense variety of compositional techniques and forms. It is a virtual catalog of choral compositional methods, and thus stands outside the genre of 18th-century oratorio as such. Now, of course, it is recognized as what it is, a unique, dazzling work. –Joshua Cody … Although he billed this piece as an oratorio, it's really an opera–the first ever in English, and one of the finest too. Handel's audience wasn't fooled for a minute, and a successful performance needs a dazzling cast of singers, just as in the composer's Italian operas. Good as John Eliot Gardiner's singers are, they don't surpass John Nelson's cast on DG, nor does Gardiner's direction offer much competition. Had the DG not existed this would be perfectly recommendable, but life is cruel, and you deserve the best.(David Hurwitz)
I do think that this Decca set is arguably the best compilation reissue of such a bulk of Handel work which has been released in a long time, just in time to commemorate the two hundred fiftieth anniversary of the passing of il caro Sassone. There is a lot in this box, absence of libretti notwithstanding. The enclosed booklet is essential to navigate you through the track listings and timings and little else but a small general essay on GFH.By John Van Note
The Triumph of Time and Truth was Handel's last oratorio. But its composition goes back half a century, to his very first work in the form, Il trionfo del Tempo e del Disinganno, written in Italy in 1707.
'Enchanting music, performed with warmth and insight. An important addition to the current list of Handel recordings' (The Sunday Times)
'Much recommended' (The Daily Telegraph)