Letter from Ralph Vaughan Williams to Gerald Finzi

Letter No.: 
[9th January 1939]

From R. Vaughan Williams,
The White Gates,
Westcott Road,

Dear Gerald

We listened to your 2 songs yesterday. You have hit the nail on the head - it ought to be spread abroad that here is the exact equivalent of Hardy & to a certain extent of all English poetry of the post-classical period.
When is “Dies Natalis” - I am excited to know - especially as I have had a mysterious letter about it from Captain Gyde (Sophie Wyss' husband).
I sent S.W.1 a sheaf of songs by various English composers which I thought she ought to know - especially as she only seemed to know the wrong-note variety. I included Y.M.s exhortation2.
Now Gyde writes to me and says “she thought that Finzi's work stood out by its self & that she would endeavour to give it in Birmingham and perhaps a London Broadcast. I now see ... that this work has been accepted for ... Hereford next year3 ... As she told him when she met before this choice was made she would always sing it for him anywhere”.
I am thoroughly puzzled
Love to Joyce


1.  i.e. Sophie Wyss, the soprano for whom Benjamin Britten wrote Les Illuminations.
2.  i.e. Finzi's A Young Man's Exhortation, op.14.
3. i.e. for the Three Choirs Festival


Location of copy:

Shelfmark of copy: 
Finzi Box 10
Cobbe 310
Original database number: