Eugene Goossens II

Eugene Goossens II (1867-1958) father of the famous Goossens siblings (Eugene III, Leon, SIdonie, Marie and Adolphe) was a well-respected and rigorous conductor, who insisted on a great deal of accuracy in performance. As well as being a stalwart of the British National Opera Company, and involved in their recordings of Cavalleria Rusticana and I Pagliacci in the late 1920s, he made a number of acoustic recordings of lighter orchestral works (generally replacing early recordings by Alick Maclean).
Wormser – L’Enfant Prodigue – Selection
Massenet – Thaïs – Méditation
The New Queen’s Hall Light Orchestra, Eugene Goossens Snr
Bernard Reillie, solo violin (Massenet)
Columbia L1646/7
Matrices AX 500-2, 501-1, 506-2, 507-1 (4866/6, 4871)
Recorded 9th July 1924 (sides 1 & 2), 10th July 1924 (side 3 and Massenet), Columbia Petty France Studios
Available from September 1925 to February 1928

This series of excerpts from L’Enfant Prodigue mark a rare recorded outing for a hugely popular work. This wordless pantomime for which André Wormser wrote the music was a hit on the London stage in 1890. The score’s taxing piano part was played by Landon Ronald for some 300 performances of the production in 1891. Some of Ronald’s early piano solo recordings were from this work. Hamilton Harty also played the part for a number of performances, and recorded six sides of excerpts as pianist and conductor in 1916. Remarkably, the composer Manuel de Falla toured Belgium, France, Switzerland and Germany as pianist with a company performing this work.

Goossens’s recording contains the following sections of the work:
Side 1 – Overture and opening of Act I, scene I (all slightly abridged)
Side 2 – Introduction to Act I, scene II, part of Act I, scene VII, the Entr’acte, then an earlier part of Act I, scene VII
Side 3 – Act II, scene V (Valse), end of Act II, scene VII, Marche from Act III, scene V (end of the pantomime)

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