Letter from Ralph Vaughan Williams to Elizabeth Maconchy

Letter No.: 
[About 23rd September 1933]

The White Gates,
Westcott Road,

Birling Gap Hotel

My Darling Betty

It was a pleasure to hear from you after so long – good news about the concerto.  I think, as you say, that Hallé seems the best (you did send it on to the Freak Fest when Schuloff was on the jury1).  I will write about it to Hallé when I find out where to write – Harriet will know – By the way dear Betty, don’t place too great hopes on this: Harriet gets so enthusiastic & thinks sometimes that because she wants a thing done it will be done – but we have to reckon with committees & conductors & all those kind of wild-fowl before a thing really gets through.2
I am eager to hear the new 4tet.  Alas! its no good your coming over yet – the house at Dorking is being mended & we’ve got to turn out for 2 months & go to London (11 Roxburgh Mansions, Kensington W) – if you do ever come to London remember this    
My love to Billy3 & a thousand loves to you

Uncle Ralph

1.  sic. Ervin Schulhoff, Czech composer and pianist.  The ‘Freak Fest’ was the International Society for Contemporary Music Festival, which VW had attended in Prague in 1925 finding much of the music uncongenial.  In 1933 it was in Amsterdam.
2. VW was in close touch with Harriet Cohen at this time preparing a revised version of his Piano Concerto (CW 1931/3) and wrote to her (VWL1096) thanking her for encouraging Maconchy.
3. William Lefanu, whom Elizabeth Maconchy married in 1930.

Location of original letter:

General notes: 

The VWs were unable to be at The White Gates from October until early December 1933 due to rebuilding work.

Cobbe 237
Original database number: