Letter from Ralph Vaughan Williams to Iris Lemare

Letter No.: 
[15 December 1933]

The White Gates

Dear Iris

Thankyou so much for writing - I am so glad they went well - & that all your & your singers labour was rewarded - you cd not expect an audience to take them in at 1st sight & as to the press they will not allow any one to be original - if it is English it has either to be like some well known source or if “modern” on the approved Central European lines.
New works ought really to be done twice at a 1st performance1

Love from

Uncle Ralph

1. Possibly refers to the first performance of Maconchy's Two motets under the baton of Lemare in December 1933.

Location of original letter:

Shelfmark of original letter: 
Add MS 59814, ff. 44-46

Location of copy:

Shelfmark of copy: 
MS Mus. 288, f.27
General notes: 

Date from postmark on envelope (f. 46).
Lemare's note: “Interesting - as it refers to the “first performance” syndrome - on which I think he felt strongly? As did Gerald Finzi”. VW's 2nd String Quartet was played twice at its first performance at the National Gallery Concert on 12th October 1944.  [No note attached to letter (or detached envelope)]

Original database number: