Letter from Ralph Vaughan Williams to Bernard van Dieren

Letter No.: 
October 20 [?1934]

The White Gates,
Westcott Road,

Dear Mr Van Dieren1

I am taking the liberty of writing to you about our common acquaintance John Buckland.2
I know how kind and helpful you have been to him and you evidently understand him very well so that before writing to give him any advice I should like to know what you think would be right for him so that our opinions shall not clash.  His last letter to me seemed discontented and very emotional.  Personally I feel that he ought to try to throw himself more into his work at Fords3 and not take it for granted that it is a necessary evil - In his last letter he speaks for example of sordid everyday drudgery and talks of his life as being a stereotyped copy for the millions of lives led by our population.
I am very much interested in him, but cannot yet make up my mind whether he has really any musical creativeness - I should be glad to know your opinion about this - I need hardly say that he does not know that I am writing to you and I of course will treat anything you tell me as confidential.
Yours sincerely

R. Vaughan Williams

1. Van Dieren, who strongly influenced Peter Warlock and his circle, lay rather outside VW's own milieu.
2. John Buckland's opus 1, Pieta, in memory of Van Dieren, was published in 1953, reviewed in Music and Letters.
3. Presumably the motor car manufacturer.


Location of original letter:

Shelfmark of original letter: 
MS Mus. 1714/1/9, ff.11-14
General notes: 

Date year taken as the last October before the writing paper was changed.  
In the hand of AVW signed by VW.

Cobbe 255
Original database number: