Eugene Goossens III came from a very musical family, and his recording career stretched from around 1915 to 1961. From the 1920s he was already recording extensively, for Columbia, HMV and Edison Bell, including the works listed below. His period in Australia after the Second World War resulted in recordings of 8 works between 1950 and 1952.
Wagner – Tannhaeuser Overture
Goossens Orchestra, Eugene Goossens
Edison Bell Velvet Face 535
Matrices X1161P-2, X1162L-1
Recorded 1921

The recording begins at the Allegro section of the overture, though this is not noted on the labels.

Wagner – The Meistersingers – Overture
Goossens Orchestra, Eugene Goossens

Download – Wagner – The Meistersingers – Overture – Goossens

(mp3 file – right click the link, then select “Save as”)

Edison Bell Velvet Face 523
Matrices X1163K-1, X1164F-2
Recorded 1921
Available from October 1922

Both sides play at almost 82rpm.

There is a gap of several bars between the two sides. The first side finishes on the first beat of bar 96 (with an E major chord), and the second starts at bar 122 (with an E flat major chord). This prevents an adequate side join.

Saint-Saëns – Danse Macabre
Goossens Orchestra, Eugene Goossens
Edison Bell Velvet Face 521
Matrices X1167G-1, X 1168G-1
Recorded 1921

Goossens made a later electrical recording of this work for Australian HMV in 1952

Wolf-Ferrari – Il Segreto di Susanna – Overture
Sibelius – Scènes Historiques No.3 – Festivo

London Symphony Orchestra, Eugene Goossens

Mediafire link for Wolf-Ferrari, Sibelius, Auber, Delibes – LSO, Goossens

(These are zip files – left click the link, download the files, then unzip when downloaded)

Columbia 908
Matrices 75139-1, 75148-1 (4048, 4057)
Recorded 5th, 7th July 1922, Columbia’s Petty France Studio, London

The Sibelius work is a premier recording, and was in fact the only acoustic recording of this work. It has several small cuts, removing bars 7-10, 5 after D to 9 before E, 13 after F to H, 7 after I to 6 before L.

Auber – Crown Diamonds – Overture
London Symphony Orchestra, Eugene Goossens

Mediafire link for Wolf-Ferrari, Sibelius, Auber, Delibes – LSO, Goossens

(These are zip files – left click the link, download the files, then unzip when downloaded)

Columbia 918
Matrices 75141-1, 75142-1 (4050, 4051)
Recorded 5th July 1922, Columbia’s Petty France Studio, London
Delibes – Le Roi l’a Dit – Overture
London Symphony Orchestra, Eugene Goossens

Mediafire link for Wolf-Ferrari, Sibelius, Auber, Delibes – LSO, Goossens

(These are zip files – left click the link, download the files, then unzip when downloaded)

Columbia 923
Matrices 75137-1, 75138-1 (4046, 4047)
Recorded 5th July 1922, Columbia’s Petty France Studio, London
Auber – The Bronze Horse – Overture
London Symphony Orchestra, Eugene Goossens
Columbia 902
Matrices 75143-2, 75144-1 (4052/3)
Recorded 7th July 1922
Available from November 1922 to July 1929

Goossens recorded this again in 1930 with the LSO, for HMV (see below)

Delibes – Coppelia – Prelude & Mazurka; Entr’acte & Valse.
London Symphony Orchestra, Eugene Goossens
Columbia 901
Matrices 75149-1, 75150-2 (4058, 4059)
Recorded 7th July 1922
Available from October 1922 to August 1926

This acoustic recording was replaced in September 1926 with an electrical remake conducted by Percy Pitt. It is interesting to note that although the two versions deal with the same four numbers from the score, the precise musical content of the two recordings is actually different.

Planquette – Paul Jones – selection
London Symphony Orchestra, Eugene Goossens
Columbia 916
Matrices 75151-2, 75152-2
Recorded 10th July 1922
Available from February 1923 to April 1927

 

Offenbach – La Perichole – selection
London Symphony Orchestra, Eugene Goossens
Columbia 959
Matrices 75153-1, 75154-2
Recorded 10th July 1922
Available from January 1924 to May 1928
J. S. Bach – Brandenburg Concerto No.3 in G major BWV1048
Parts 1 and 2 – First Movement (Allegro)
Part 3 – Third Movement (Allegro)
Bach-Wilhelmj – Air on the G string
Royal Albert Hall Orchestra, Eugene Goossens

His Master’s Voice D 683-4
Matrices: Cc 1935-III, Cc 1936-II, Cc 1937-II (single-side numbers 3-0826, 3-0827, 3-0828)
Recorded 5th October 1922, Hayes

His Master’s Voice D 684
Matrix: Cc 2215-IV (single-side number 3-0829)
Recorded 24th January 1923, Hayes

This pioneering recording of the Brandenburg Concerto No.3 was on 3 sides, with Air on the G string filling the 4th side of the set. There are two slight omissions in the concerto – between the first and second sides of the first movement, a figure of 4 bass notes is omitted which links the two sides, though the omission does not really affect the flow of the music. Also, the two chords of the 2nd movement are entirely omitted.

In the acoustic era, only one Brandenburg Concerto made it into the record catalogues – Concerto No.3 in G. This recording by Eugene Goossens in 1922 was its first – there was another acoustic recording with George Hoeberg conducting the Berlin State Opera Orchestra.

In the electrical era the Brandenburgs received many more recordings – complete sets from Anthony Bernard in the late 1920s (of which no complete set is known to survive), Busch and Cortot in the 1930s, and Boyd Neel in the 1940s; as well as accounts of various individual concertos from the likes of Stokowski, Wood and Koussevitzky.

Puccini arr Tavan – Madam Butterfly selection
Royal Albert Hall Orchestra, Eugene Goossens
HMV D 659
Matrices Cc 1928-I, 1929-II
Recorded 3rd November 1922
Delius – Brigg Fair
Delius – On Hearing the First Cuckoo in Spring
Royal Albert Hall Orchestra, Eugene Goossens

Delius – Brigg Fair – RAHO, Goossens
Delius – On Hearing the First Cuckoo in Spring – RAHO, Goossens

(mp3 files – click to play, or right click the link, then select “Save as”)

His Master’s Voice D 799-800
Matrices Cc 4017-I, 4018-I, 4019-II, 4081-I (3-0974, 3-0975, 3-0976, 3-0977)
Recorded 31st December 1923 and 15th January 1924, Hayes

Brigg Fair is complete, but the Cuckoo is slightly abridged, losing 23 bars in total (from 2 before fig 5 to 4 after fig 6, and from 4 after fig 9 to 3 before fig 11.)

Stravinsky – Petrouchka – Ballet Music
Royal Albert Hall Orchestra, Eugene Goossens

The set of Victor records used for this transfer was in good condition except for the first record which has a chunk broken off which takes about 9 cm of the circumference of the record and stretches about 1 cm into the playing surface. This took some considerable effort to repair, and means that the first 25 seconds and from about 4:00 to 4:30 of the First Tableau suffer some thumping and interruptions to the sound.

Victor 55245-8
Matrices Cc 4013-1, 4014-4, 4015-2, 4016-2, 4077-2, 4078-1, 4079-3, 4080-2
(single side numbers 3-0990 to 3-0997, UK issue on HMV D 853-6)
Recorded 21st December 1923 (sides 1, 6 and 7) and 15th January 1924 (sides 2, 3, 4, 5 and 8), Hayes

This recording is one of Goossens’s earliest, and was a significant gramophone premiere. Goossens was the conductor of the first recording of Stravinsky’s Petrouchka in late 1923 and early 1924. This was the only acoustic recording of the work, and this recording was superseded just four years later by Albert Coates’s electrical HMV recording and Stravinsky’s for Columbia (both with the London Symphony Orchestra). Goossens history with the work goes back to 1913, when he was a deputy violinist in the orchestra for the Ballet Russe performances at Covent Garden. In May 1925 he once more worked with Diaghilev when he conducted performances of Petrushka at the Teatro Liceo in Barcelona. In summer 1931 he again conducted the work for Beecham’s company at the Lyceum Theatre. Goossens brought Petrushka to the recording studios once more in 1959 – and didn’t take kindly to the criticism which the recording received, making it clear that he remembered all the details of the 1913 performances.

The performance is virtually complete. The First Tableau uses the concert ending, omitting the 10 bar passage between figures 47 and 48 in the score which link it to the Second Tableau. At about 2:40 in the Third Tableau, in the bar before figure 69, the introductory drum roll which links into the Dance of the Ballerina is omitted, as this is at a side join. The Third Tableau also includes one of the most notable instrumental fluffs in the recording, in an exposed bassoon part. The final side of the Third Tableau ends with the first two bars of the drum figure which begins the Fourth Tableau. The remaining two bars of this drum figure are not included at the start of the next side, so I’ve repeated them to make the passage complete.

It is remarkable how much detail of the scoring is contained within this late acoustic recording. Although some passages for cellos and basses alone are supplemented noticeably by bassoons, the recording seems overall to keep fairly close to the original scoring. A full range of percussion (including harp) is heard, along with cor anglais and bass clarinet. The playing (despite the bassoon fluff noted earlier) is remarkable – there are a few other misplaced notes, and one or two examples of inaccurate rhythm. Bear in mind that this new and difficult score was premiered just 12 and half years before this recording was made.

Among the horn players is Aubrey Brain – he also played on the Coates 1927/8 recording, and Stravinsky’s 1928 recording.

The notes from this Victor album are available here.

 

Puccini arr. Tavan – Tosca – Selection
Royal Albert Hall Orchestra, Eugene Goossens

Download – Puccini/Tavan – Tosca – selection – Goossens

(mp3 file – right click the link, then select “Save as”)

His Master’s Voice D 913
Matrices Cc 2668-IV, 2669-II (single side numbers 4-0592/3)
Recorded 19th January 1924, 7th March 1923, Hayes
Traditional arr Chaliapin – Down the Petersky
Feodor Chaliapin, bass
Orchestra, Eugene Goossens
His Master’s Voice DA 621
Matrices Bb 4884-III (7-22021)
Recorded 14th July 1924, Hayes
Rossini arr Respighi – La Boutique Fantasque selection
Royal Albert Hall Orchestra, Eugene Goossens
HMV D 1018
Matrices Cc 6289-II, 6290-I
Recorded 3rd July 1925
Rimsky-Korsakov – Scheherezade Op.35
Royal Opera House Orchestra, Covent Garden, Eugene Goossens

Mediafire link for Rimsky-Korsakov – Scheherezade – Goossens

(These are zip files – left click the link, download the files, then unzip when downloaded)

His Master’s Voice C 1287-8
Matrices CR 561-IIA, 562-II, 563-IV, 564-I (4-0868/71)
Recorded 13th (parts 1, 2, 4) and 15th (part 3) July 1926

This abridged recording by Eugene Goossens uses almost the same cuts as Landon Ronald’s account, simply adding one or two extra passages that Ronald decided wouldn’t fit on. These include the opening twelve bars of the first movement, a section between A and B in the third movement, and in the fourth movement, the section between A and B, and from W to a little before X.

The parts of the score included in the recording are given below. Page references are to Hawkes Pocket Score – section letters appear common to all scores.

First Record: start (p3) to end (p4); E (p19) to 6 after F (p26); 5 after H (p30) to M (p38); 11 after M (p39) to end (p41)

Second Record: start to bar 4 (p42-3); A (p44) to B (p45); C (p47) to D (p50); H (p62) to 16 after I (p68); 6 before L (p73) to L (p74); N (p79) to P (p87); R (p92) to end (p96)

Third Record: start (p97) to B (p101); C (p105) to H (p116); I (p119) to K (p120); P (p133) to end (p134)

Fourth Record: 24 before A (p140) to bar before E (p147); K (p158) to N (p168); P (p173) to bar before Q (p176); W (p197) to 10 after X (p213); 15 after X (p216) to 10 after Y (p221); Z (p222) to 6 after Z (p224)

Glazounov – Scènes de Ballet, Op.52
Side 1 – No.1 – Preambule; No.4 – Scherzino
Side 2 – No.2 – Marionettes; No.6 – Danse Orientale
Side 3 – No.3 – Mazurka
Side 4 – No.5 – Pas d’action
Side 5 – No.7 – Valse
Side 6 – No.8 – Polonaise
New Symphony Orchestra, Eugene Goossens
His Master’s Voice C1752-4
Matrices: Cc 16650-III, 16657-III, 16656-III, 16654-II, 16658-I, 16655-I (single side numbers 6-0788, 0798, 0797, 0792, 0799, 0796)
Recorded 3rd June 1929 (side 1) and 5th June 1929 (sides 2-6), Kingsway Hall, London

(records provided by Paul Terry)

Balakirev arr. Casella – Islamey
New Symphony Orchestra, Eugene Goossens
His Master’s Voice C 2086
Matrices: Cc 18797-II, 18798-II (single-side numbers 32-1634/5)
Recorded 27th April 1930, London

This was Goossens’s second recording of this score – he previously recorded it in September 1928 with the Hollywood Bowl orchestra, available on a Cambria CD.

(records provided by Paul Terry)

Franck – Le Chasseur Maudit
Chabrier – Marche Joyeuse
Royal Opera Orchestra, Covent Garden, Eugene Goossens
(actually New Symphony Orchestra for the Franck, and London Symphony Orchestra for the Chabrier)
His Master’s Voice C 2016
Matrices: Cc 18791-I, 18792-IIA, 18793-IIIA, 18784-IIA (single side numbers 32-1555/7, 32-1670)
Recorded 23rd May 1930 (Franck), 21st May 1930 (Chabrier), Kingsway Hall, London

(records provided by Paul Terry)

Sibelius – En Saga (slightly abridged)
Sibelius – Valse Triste
New Symphony Orchestra, Eugene Goossens
His Master’s Voice C 1994-5
Matrices: Cc 18794-1A, 18795-IIA, 18796-IIA, 18799-I (single side numbers 32-1609/11, 32-1636)
Recorded 26th May 1930 (En Saga), 27th May 1930 (Valse Triste), Kingsway Hall, London

(records provided by Paul Terry)

Auber – The Bronze Horse – Overture
London Symphony Orchestra, Eugene Goossens
(credited on label as Royal Opera Orchestra)
His Master’s Voice C 1997
Matrices Cc 19618-I, 19619-II (single side numbers 32-1638/9)
Recorded 2nd June 1930, Kingsway Hall, London
Tchaikovksy – Eugene Onegin – Polonaise (Act 3)
London Symphony Orchestra, Eugene Goossens

Mediafire link for Svendsen – Carnival in Paris, Tchaikovsky – Polonaise – Landon Ronald, Eugene Goossens

(This is a zip file – left click the link, download the file, then unzip when downloaded)

His Master’s Voice DB 1759/60
Matrices 2B 598-I (single side numbers 32-2303)
Recorded 24th June 1931, Kingsway Hall, London (Tchaikovsky)

This side was the filler to Sir Landon Ronald’s recording of Svendsen’s Carnival in Paris.

Borodin – “Prince Igor” Dances, Act 2 (Polovtsian Dances)
London Philharmonic Orchestra, Eugene Goossens

His Master’s Voice C 3048-9
Matrices: 2EA 1072-I, 1073-I, 1074-I, 1075-I
Recorded 16th July 1937, London

(records provided by Paul Terry)

Grieg – Elegiac Melodies Op.34
1. Heart Wounds
2. Spring
London Philharmonic Orchestra, Eugene Goossens
His Master’s Voice C 2935
Matrices: 2EA 5311-IA, 5312-I
Recorded: 2nd September 1937
Tchaikovsky – Nutcracker Suite Op.71a
Side 1 – I. Miniature Overture – II. March
Side 2 – III. Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy – IV. Russian Dance
Side 3 – V. Arab Dance
Side 4 – VI. Chinese Dance – VII. Dance of the Flutes
Side 5 – VIII. Waltz of the Flowers (Part 1)
Side 6 – VIII. Waltz of the Flowers (Conclusion)
London Philharmonic Orchestra, Eugene Goossens
His Master’s Voice C 2922-4
Matrices: 2EA 5313-I, 5314-I, 5315-I, 5316-I, 5317-I, 5318-I
Recorded 3rd September 1937, London

(records provided by Paul Terry and myself)

Rimsky-Korsakov – Le Coq d’Or – Suite
Side 1 – 1st Mov. (Part 1) Introduction and Prologue
Side 2 – 1st Mov. (Conclusion) Slumber Scene and Warning of the Cockerel
Side 3 – 2nd Mov. Prelude, Act 1 and Scene at King Dodon’s Palace
Side 4 – 3rd Mov. (Part 1) Dance of King Dodon and the Queen of Schemacha
Side 5 – 3rd Mov. (Conclusion) Dance of King Dodon and the Queen of Schemacha – 4th Mov. (Part 1) Prelude, Act 3
Side 6 – 4th Mov. (Conclusion) Bridal March and Death of King Dodon
London Symphony Orchestra, Eugene Goossens

His Master’s Voice C 3013-5
Matrices: 2EA 6304-II, 6305-I, 6306-II, 6307-I, 6308-I, 6309-II
Recorded 9th May 1938, Abbey Road Studio No.1, London

(records provided by Paul Terry)

Bizet – L’Arlésienne Suite No.2 – 4. Farandole
London Symphony Orchestra, Eugene Goossens
RCA Victor Red Seal 11-8253
Matrix 2EA 6311-II, 073028
Recorded 9th May 1938, Abbey Road Studio 1, London

Coupling for Vaughan Williams’s A London Symphony (February 1941)

Vaughan Williams – A London Symphony

I. Lento – Allegro risoluto (3 sides)
II. Lento (2 sides)
III. Scherzo (Nocturne) (1 side)
IV. Andante con moto – Maestoso alla Marcia. (1½ sides)
Epilogue – Andante sostenuto (1½ sides)

Cincinatti Symphony Orchestra, Eugene Goossens

Mediafire link for Vaughan Williams – A London Symphony – Eugene Goossens

(These are zip files – left click the link, download the files, then unzip when downloaded)

RCA Victor Red Seal DM-916 (11-8253/7)
Matrices 062506/14
Recorded 19th and 20th February 1941, Cincinatti

Coupled with Bizet’s Farandole, LSO (9th May 1938)

For the 50th anniversary of Vaughan William’s death, there were many reissues, including, from Symposium, Dan Godfrey’s premiere recording of A London Symphony – both his earlier recording of the first (abridged) and third movements, and the “complete” recording that followed. The abridged first movement was one of the records recommended by Percy Scholes in his “Second Book of the Gramophone Record”. Godfrey’s recording used the 1920 version of the score. Vaughan Williams published an updated version of the score in 1936, and it is this that was used by Sir Henry Wood in his recording the same year. However, by a curious quirk, when Eugene Goossens recorded the work in 1941 with the Cincinatti Symphony Orchestra, he used the 1920 version. It is also noteworthy, that both Wood and Goossens omit the repeat of the first section of the Scherzo, which Godfrey included in both his acoustic recordings of the movement. There can be no doubt that both conductors would have had room for it: Wood’s side lengths are fairly short, and breaks between movements occur during sides; and Goossens’s recording takes 9 sides, with the 10th taken up by a 1938 recording with the LSO of Bizet’s Farandole!

These recordings, then, by Wood and Goossens provide an opportunity to compare the two versions of the work. It’s also an instructive comparison of recording styles. Wood rarely approaches a true pianissimo, particularly where the lower instruments are concerned, perhaps continuing the habits from around 1916 when he started conducting for records. Goossens for Victor has a much more natural recorded sound, allowing for a wide dynamic range.

Delius – The Walk to the Paradise Garden
Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, Eugene Goossens

Delius – Walk to the Pardise Garden – Cincinnati SO, Goossens

(mp3 files – click to play, or right click the link, then select “Save as”)

RCA Victor 11-9493
Matrices D6-RC-5139, 5140
Recorded 14th February 1946, Cincinnati
Eugene Goossens recorded 8 works with the Sydney Symphony Orchestra between 1950 and 1952, during his brief spell in Australia. The recording of Beethoven’s 2nd Symphony was released on both LP and 78s in Australia, though only on LP in the UK. The contemporaneous recording of Mendelssohn’s Scottish Symphony appeared only on a 10” LP. Goossens’s 1950 Sydney recording of Antill’s Corroboree has recently been released on a Dutton CD
Mendelssohn – Symphony No.3 in A minor Op.56 “Scottish”
I – Andante con moto – Allegro un poco agitato – Andante come prima
II – Vivace non troppo
III – Adagio
IV – Allegro vivacissimo – Allegro maestoso assai
ABC Sydney Symphony Orchestra, Eugene Goossens

Available to download from Historic Recordings

HMV 10” LP – BLP 1045
Matrices: 0XEA-461-1N, 462-1N
Recorded 9th April 1952, in the Great Hall of Sydney University
Saint-Saëns – Danse Macabre
ABC Sydney Symphony Orchestra, Eugene Goossens

Available to download from Historic Recordings

His Master’s Voice DB 21617
Matrices 2EA 16887-2C, 16888-3C
Recorded 10th April 1952 in the Great Hall of Sydney University

Goossens made an earlier acoustic recording of this work for Edison Bell Velvet Face in 1921.

Beethoven – Symphony No.2 in D major, Op.36
I. Adagio molto – Allegro con brio (2 sides)
II. Larghetto (3 sides)
III. Scherzo (1 side)
IV. Allegro molto (2 sides)
Sydney Symphony Orchestra, Eugene Goossens

Available to download from Historic Recordings

His Master’s Voice ED 1206-9 (Automatic coupling)

Matrices 2AA455-462

Recorded 21-22 April 1952, in the Great Hall of Sydney University

It was noticeable in transferring these records how much better the quality was on these Australian 78s compared to British 78s of the same period – there was virtually no crackle.