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CHAN 10259
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CHAN 10259

Goossens: Five Impressions/ Pastorale et Arlequinade/Four Sketches/Suite/Three Pictures

The Classical Shop
release date: October 2004

Recorded in 24 Bit / 96Khz
album available as a Studio Master
Originally recorded in 2004


London Chamber Music Group


St Michaels Church, Highgate, London


Rachel Smith


Jonathan Cooper

Matthew Walker


Record Label



Total Time - 67:40
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Four Sketches, Op. 5 (1913)

  for Flute (or Violin), Violin and Piano  
  Book I  
1 I Legend. Andante ma non troppo - Più mosso - Tempo I 4:50
2 II Serenade. Giocoso 3:09
  Book II  
3 III Romance. Andantino e molto espressivo - 4:28
4 IV Humoreske. Allegro (ma non troppo) - 2:35

Three Pictures, Op. 55 (1935)

  for Flute and Piano  
5 I From the Belfry of Bruges (For my friend, Ary van Leeuwen). Moderato con moto - 5:20
6 II From Bredon in the Cotswolds. Andante con moto - 4:42
7 III From a Balcony in Montparnasse. Moderato - 8:25

Five Impressions of a Holiday, Op. 7 (1914)

  (Cinq Impressions d'un séjour à la campagne)  
  for Flute or Violin, Cello and Piano  
8 1 In the Hills (Parmi les collines). Moderato - 3:02
9 2 By the Rivers (Le Long des rivières). Tranquillo 2:45
10 3 The Water Wheel (Le Petit Moulin à eau). Con moto e leggiero 2:14
11 4 The Village Church (L'Église du village). Andante con moto 5:40
12 5 At the Fair (À la vogue). Scherzando 2:12

Suite, Op. 6 (1914)

  for Flute (or Violin), Violin and Harp (or Piano)  
  To Miss (Miriam) Timothy  
13 A Impromptu. Moderato e espressivo - 3:45
14 B Serenade. Andante grazioso 3:03
15 C Divertissement. Allegro giocoso - Poco meno - 3:42

Pastorale et Arlequinade, Op. 41 (1924)

  for Flute (or Violin), Oboe (or Violin), and Piano  
  À Léon Goossens  
16 I Pastorale. Andante con moto - 4:47
17 II Arlequinade. Allegro - Sempre con moto 3:01
Five Impressions of a Holiday was Susan Milan’s first encounter with the seductive, post-romantic music of Eugene Goossens. Charmed by the work, she resolved to discover more: ‘he was very much connected to the Les Six generation and writes in the impressionistic style which I like so much.’ Her research was to take her to meet Goossens’ fiancée, who allowed her access to many of his original manuscripts. From these she has meticulously corrected the printed editions. Susan is a highly respected flautist and musicologist, particularly renowned for her work in the field of impressionist music. A professor of the Royal College of Music, she was recently presented with a Fellowship to the college by Prince Charles.

All the works on this disc here receive their premiere recordings.

Susan Milan will be performing with various members of The London Chamber Group at the Kingston Festival on October 7th and in Carlisle on December 4th. A concert at the Wigmore Hall to mark the celebrate the release of this disc is planned for Spring of 2005.

There is currently new interest in the life and work of Eugene Goossens. A new film, The Fall of the House, about the composer, the impact he had on the cultural life of 1950s Sydney and his notorious fall from grace was recently screened at the Sydney Film Festival.

Listen to Eugène Goossens’ music and you are immediately struck by its lively imagination and fluent lyricism. He was much influenced by the shimmering sound world of turn-of-the-century Paris. In all the pieces on this disc, everything is precisely calculated and delicately balanced – he delighted in piquant harmony and the elegantly turned phrase. Goossens was once the white hope of British music, prodigiously talented and well connected. Between the two world wars, his music was held in as high esteem as that of Bax, Bridge and Walton and he contributed greatly to British musical life, championing much contemporary music – even the first English performance of The Rite of Spring in the presence of Stravinsky. He appeared to live a charmed life – and at the height of his career, he took up a position with the Sydney Symphony Orchestra, inspiring a new generation of young musicians and turning the orchestra into a world-class outfit.
In private, though, Goossens was a man of unconventional tastes. He had always been drawn to the occult, and in Australia he embarked on a passionate affair with a notorious self-styled witch, Rosaleen Norton, who initiated him into her coven.
Goossens was knighted in London in 1955, and while he was away, police searched Norton’s flat on a tip off. Love letters were found, and, on his arrival back in Sydney, his luggage was searched and a collection of pornographic photographs he had been carrying were seized. He departed Australia in utter ignominy, unable to resurrect his career. He died alone in 1962.

This is a delightful recording. Susan Milan and the London Chamber Music Group play with fine balance and close attention to the constant shift of colour and dynamic. Milan’s beautiful tone – sometimes powerful, sometimes delicate – is exactly what this dapper music needs. Anyone looking for exciting changes from the usual chamber music fare will enjoy this.
American Record Guide

'Susan Milan leads the performances with well-rounded, appropriately French-sounding tone, and the excellent pianist Ian Brown stands out in the stalwart supporting cast.'
BBC Music Magazine

Goossens was a bit of a bovine maverick. The cow escaped the barn, jumped the fence, swam the Channel and ended up in France. You could say that Goossens’ music is what you get when you blend English pastoralism with French Impressionism… That said, the performances are exquisite. Flutist Susan Milan, who plays almost continuously throughout is superb. As always, Chandos’ rich, fulsome recording highlights every silvery tone and harp vibration.

'Sir Eugene Goossens is best known today as a conductor of the older generation, yet he was a first-class composer, too, in a traditional style which became unfashionable when the serialists took over. The language is delightfully civilised, the invention melodic and harmonies felicitous. It is presented here with attractive life and spontaneity, very like a live concert.'

'This is a highly enjoyable disc of unfamiliar, very well-written music, given first-rate performances in excellent sound.'
International Record Review

M Taylor

D Eade