Sir Eugene Goossens: Phantasy Concerto / Symphony No. 1

Available in Audiophile 88kHz/24bit

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Album Name Length Format Sample Rate Price
Sir Eugene Goossens: Phantasy Concerto / Symphony No. 1 54:38 $24.98
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# Track Title Length Format Sample Rate Price
1 Phantasy Concerto, Op. 60: I. Moderato con moto 6:03 $2.49 Buy
2 Phantasy Concerto, Op. 60: II. Allegro 3:29 $2.49 Buy
3 Phantasy Concerto, Op. 60: III. Andante 7:22 $2.49 Buy
4 Phantasy Concerto, Op. 60: IV. Finale: Vivo (in uno) 4:35 $2.49 Buy
5 Symphony No. 1, Op. 58: I. Andante - Allegro con anima 8:17 $2.49 Buy
6 Symphony No. 1, Op. 58: II. Andante espressivo, ma con moto 7:38 $2.49 Buy
7 Symphony No. 1, Op. 58: III. Divertimento: Allegro vivo 5:39 $2.49 Buy
8 Symphony No. 1, Op. 58: IV. Finale: Andante moderato 11:35 88/24 Album only

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This is the final recording made by Richard Hickox, intended as the first in a cycle devoted to orchestral works by Goossens. Offering the premiere recording of Goossens’s Phantasy Concerto for Piano and Orchestra, and the rarely recorded Symphony No. 1, this disc serves as a tribute to Hickox and his remarkable legacy of recordings on Chandos.

The Melbourne Symphony Orchestra is regarded as Goossens specialists and here perform with Howard Shelley as the piano soloist.

Though principally remembered as a conductor, during the 1920s the prolific Eugene Goossens was regarded as among the foremost British composers alongside Bax, Bridge and Walton. Sadly, his music has been all but forgotten, probably because the colourful, expressive nature of his music fell out of fashion in the 1950s and 1960s. A recent reviewer of Goossens’s music wrote, ‘If you have ever gleaned the idea that Goossens is inclined to grey modernism or to windy rhetoric, prepare to have your preconceptions well and truly shattered’. His music is suggestive of fellow composers of the era, notably Holst and Bliss.

Having grown up in Britain, Goossens accepted an invitation to come to the United States as the first chief conductor of the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra in New York State. He was there for twenty years, before moving to Australia where he served as Chief Conductor of the Sydney Symphony Orchestra. His music and character proved a great influence on the Australian classical audience and he is recognised as one of the most important figures in Australian musical life.

The Phantasy Concerto, Op. 60 for Piano and Orchestra was written for the celebrated Spanish pianist José Iturbi who gave its first performance in 1944. ‘The work, particularly the slow movement, was influenced by my re-reading at that time of Edgar Allan Poe’s The Devil in the Belfry, and might be said to reflect something of the fantastic and sinister character of that story, though in no way being a literal depiction of it’, wrote Goossens.

The concerto was the outcome of a discussion between Iturbi and the composer over the lack of new piano concertos and especially on a smaller scale. The result is a four-movement piano concerto in compressed sonata form. The soloist plays more of a concertante role than in a display concerto, his part tending towards being integral to the orchestral texture. Goossens used the word ‘conversational’ to describe this relationship between soloist and orchestra. This premiere recording is coupled with the melodious and imaginative Symphony No. 1.