Letter from Ralph Vaughan Williams to Gustav Holst

Letter No.: 
[About 15th April 1933]

The White Gates,
Westcott Road,

Dear Gustav

You are not missing much by being indoors these last few days - Hail & snow - & our poor flowers all bitten by the frost & they were looking so nice - Not that I’ve wanted to go out much - Festival odd jobs keep me pretty busy the last few days - Faking the 4 horn parts of the Brahms serenade in to 2 parts - I only had to leave out about 12 notes!
I heard the early Ireland sonata (Pfte & violin) the other day - I am ashamed to say I did not know it - the slow movement is really very lovely - the rest a little spoilt by the desire to shine & show he understands the instruments. I wonder how much a composer ought to know of instrumental technique - do you remember we had a long talk about that last year - of course the deepest abyss of the result of writing “effectively” is Frank Bridge - but there is a slight snobbishness about Ireland’s music which worries me if you know what I mean.

Location of original letter:

Shelfmark of original letter: 
MS Mus. 158, ff.126-128
General notes: 

Incomplete.  Not in Heirs and Rebels.
And Choirs Singing: An account of the Leith Hill Musical Festival 1905-1985 (Leith Hill, 1985) records that the choruses from Brahms’s Requiem were given in 1933 and his first Serenade (the 2nd only has two horn parts) may have been included in the concert - check.

Cobbe 230
Original database number: