Eugene Goossens

  • Aaron Copland

  • Jubilee Variation (1945) 2'
    Variation on a theme by Eugene Goossens
    2.picc.2.corA.2.bcl.2.dbn — — timp.perc:BD/cyms/xyl/SD/susp.cym/tgl — pft — strings
    Jubilee has been reinstated to Copland's catalogue.
    Similar in style to the popular Fanfare for the Common Man, Jubilee differs in that it was composed for full orchestra.
  • William Schuman

  • Variation V (Molto Tranquillo) for string orchestra (1944, MS) 4'
    Variation on a theme by Eugene Goossens
    Commissioned as a contribution to a composite score honoring Eugene Goossens and the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra
    March 23, 1945, Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, Eugene Goossens
    "Schuman was also asked to write a variation as part of a compilation entitled Variations on a Theme of Eugene Goossens in honor of Goossens and the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra. Goossens was quite succinct with Schuman: "I am asking you to write Variation 7. I would like it to be in C Major, treated as fugato or canonically throughout, but not vigorous-subject of course to your reaction to the theme which I have devised and a copy of which you will find enclosed." The variation, of only a few minutes' duration, was performed in Cincinnati on March 23, 1945, but was never published and remains a pièce d'occasion."
  • Ernest Bloch

  • Variation X 'Solemne'
    Variations on a Theme by Eugene Goossens

    RLPO/Schwarz, Guild Hall, Preston
    Ten variations on a theme worth celebrating
    Saturday, 19 January 2002

    Gerard Schwarz's Delos recordings contain authoritative surveys of the American symphonic tradition. The conductor's decision to give the world premiere of Jubilee Variations – 10 separate treatments by mid-20th century US composers of an original theme by Eugene Goossens – seemed entirely fitting.

    The Jubilee Variations were written in 1944 for the 50th anniversary season of the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra. Goossens' theme proved sufficiently protean, both melodically and rhythmically, to sustain extensively varied handling. By stipulating to each composer the character and tonality of each contribution, Goossens achieved a remarkably homogenous work, providing a telling snapshot of the musical characters of each participating composer. Paul Creston's gently flowing "Tranquillo", graced with a serene conclusion, brought a wistful smile to Schwarz's face. Aaron Copland's input was typically balletic, surging with sparkling energy and pristine pluck. In contrast, Roy Harris's "Moderato" spun a delicate interlacing of contrapuntal lines. Ernest Bloch's passionate and moving "Solemne" brought one of the few reminders in this effervescent and celebratory work of the dark times in which it was composed.

    Eugene Goossens himself provided the partly fugal "Allegro Finale", which cast approving glances back at the characters of the 10 variations. A grand restatement of the theme led into a massive, barnstorming coda reminiscent of the vehement ending of Goossens' contemporaneous Second Symphony. Under Schwarz's sensitive direction, this engaging and enjoyable work's first performance could not have been in safer hands.

    Paul Conway