What may be the first English ballet score, "L'Ecole en Crinoline", by Eugene Goossens, will receive its first performance at St.Johns, Smith Square on Monday, 27th October, in a concert entitled Eugene Goossens and his circle, given by the Australian pianist, Antony Gray.

Goossens was one of the most outstanding talents in the early years of this century, making his mark both as a conductor and composer before he had left the Royal College of Music in 1915. Within a few years he had become one of Diaghalevs favourite conductors for his "Ballets Russe", and it must have been this experience which led Goossens to write his own ballet score in 1921-22.

The completed piano score was played to Diaghalev who enthused about the music, but felt that the subject was not suitable for the direction his company was taking at the time. It was not until four years later when Lamberts "Romeo and Juliet" was produced by Diaghalev that an original ballet score by a British composer was professionally staged.

The subsequent history of the score is somewhat mysterious. The original piano score has survived in The Goossens Archive, along with a copyists score, complete up to about two thirds of the way through, and an orchestral score complete up to exactly the same point.

One theory is that Goossens, who was notoriously overstretched, often conducting opera at Covent Garden and the Ballet Russe at the Alhambra Theatre on successive nights, took the copyists unfinished score to orchestrate from, but never had an opportunity to complete the task. Whether the copyist ever completed the second piano score is also not known. There is also no evidence as to when Goossens orchestrated part of the score. Towards the end of his life he got the piano score out again and made a few indications of what might have become a suite from the ballet, but again did not have the time to realise the project.

"L'Ecole en Crinoline" was written at the height of Goossens compositional powers and, at thirty five minutes, is a substantial one act ballet containing music of immense charm, wit and feeling. The story - a ballet school, a headmistress, a vicar and Amelia, the student heroine - is not profound, and it is easy to see why Diaghalev rejected it, but it is no weaker than many ballet subjects being performed today, and the beauty of the music, as well as its historical significance surely merit the work being taken up.

The recital at St.Johns, given by the pianist Antony Gray and the narrator Georgina Sowerby, will include further music by Goossens, as well as music by some of his friends, colleagues and admirers - Ravel, de Falla, Grainger, Williamson, Carmichael and Scott.