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Goossens: Symphony No. 2 & Phantasy Concerto / Little, Davis, Melbourne Symphony

Release Date: 01/03/2020 
Label:  Chandos   Catalog #: 5193  
Composer:  Sir Eugene Goossens
Performer:  Tasmin Little
Conductor:  Sir Andrew Davis
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Melbourne Symphony Orchestra
Number of Discs: 1 
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Notes and Editorial Reviews

Continuing their series of orchestral works by Sir Eugene Goossens, Sir Andrew Davis and the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra turn to the Phantasy Concerto for Violin and the Second Symphony. Goossens was born in London in 1893, into a family of Belgian conductors and musicians. He trained in Brugesand at the Royal College of Music (studying composition under Stanford), played violin in the Queen’s Hall Orchestra under Sir Henry Wood, and became Sir Thomas Beecham’s go-to stand-in because of his ability to conduct the most demanding programmes on little or no rehearsal. Goossens gave the first UK concert performance of Stravinsky’s Le Sacre du printemps, in 1921, and in 1923 became the first music director of the newly formed Rochester Read more Philharmonic, before succeeding Fritz Reiner, in 1931, as chief conductor of the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra. He spent nine years in Australia, as chief conductor of the Sydney Symphony Orchestra, and was instrumental in the planning of the Sydney Opera House. Both works recorded here were composed towards the end of his life. The Second Symphony, dating from 1942–45, is a vivid and personal response to WWII. The Phantasy Concerto for Violin and Orchestra was originally promised to Heifetz, who never performed it. Having returned to London, Goossens gave the work’s premiere in a BBC broadcast in July 1959, and this was followed by a Proms performance in 1960; on both occasions the soloist was Tessa Robbins. Sir Andrew Davis and his Melbourne forces perform these rarely heard works with care and finesse, and Tasmin Little shines as the soloist in the Phantasy Concerto. The album is recorded in Surround Sound.



The performances are superbly accomplished and committed. SOne curious aspect of this pair of works (and those on the first volume, as well) is their colour, for they all suggest to me that they were written using the musical equivalent of black-and-white film.

– Gramophone

The Symphony shows Goossens as more daring than most of his British contemporaries, adopting a style close to Hindemith and Frank Martin. The concerto grows in stature the more one listens. It could not ask for a better champion than Tasmin Little – languid, elegant and brittle by turn.

– Classical Music Read less

Works on This Recording

Phantasy Concerto for Violin, Op. 63 by Sir Eugene Goossens
Performer:  Tasmin Little (Violin)
Conductor:  Sir Andrew Davis
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Melbourne Symphony Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1946-48, rev. 1958; England 
Symphony no 2, Op. 62 by Sir Eugene Goossens
Conductor:  Sir Andrew Davis
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Melbourne Symphony Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1942-1944; England 

Customer Reviews

Average Customer Review:  1 Customer Review )
 Beguiling angularity May 16, 2020 By J. Tatnall (West Grove, PA) See All My Reviews "Goosens is sort of an English Hindemith. His angular structures and harmonies built of certain counterpoint end in tonal places. His melody is most pronounced in the violin concerto and shorter pieces, but the symphonies are growing on me. This is music of the 20th century. Although I have nothing with which to compare it, these performances are assured and cogent." Report Abuse
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