Saturday, 18 December 2004

Musical Family

The last of the Goossens family has died at the age of 105: Sidonie Goossens was a harpist of world renown for more than half a century.

This musical family, which came to England from Belgium in the nineteenth century, included three Eugenes—grandfather, father and brother to Sidonie. Another brother, Leon, was a famous oboist; here he is playing the Tarantella from Scarlatti’s Concerto No 1.
It is absolutely not true that he gave rise to the phrase ….wouldn’t say oboe to a Goossens.


George Corrigan said...

I also heard that the grandfather Eugene had always wanted to have a famous orchestral member in the family, ever since Maren Goosen (Eugene seniors first wife and only true love) had been so emotionally moved by an early Grammaphone recording she had volunteered for the Boer War, under the impression that if the enemy heard music coming forth, they would be struck by the enormous humanity and beauty of the piece. She was last scene waltzing slowly across the plains outside Capetown before she herself was struck by a 4' spear.

In his new quest for world peace and to console his grief, Eugene utterly dedicated himself to music, married a pianist, and their child also Eugene was encouraged, if not coerced, from an early age to dedicate himself to all things music. He married, under some duress, a cellist and their son, Leon showed remarkable talent from an early age, picking out the basics of Beethoven on the nipple of his bottle. Later in life when quite famous he was asked how he had become so good, he said "its all in the Eugenes" which eventually coined the phrase Eugenics.

Unfortunately in 1930 one particular German got the wrong end of the stick. So the story of the very inspiration that had caused Maren to tragically lay down her life, ends sadly with another conflagration in 1939, caused by a failed German artist of no redeemable talent who always blamed his parents lack of focus on proper breeding for his absence of genius - fully failing to grasp that the beauty comes from within and that its our very frailty and error that makes us so precious.

So in the spirit of Christmas I would like to offer this cautionary tale and encourage all the OMF readers to treasure their inner artists and celebrate their gifts and the gifts of others.

Happy Christmas everyone, and a creative and wonderful 2005 to you all.

Tony said...

My dear George
How nice to hear from you again, and how good of you to take the trouble to fill in the lacunae in my knowledge of The Goossens Story (soon to be a major new series featuring Bill Cosby as Eugene fils)! I had no idea how their talents impacted on the history of the twentieth century; three Eugeniuses in one family! Thank you so much.
Wishing you a Gladsome Yuletide.