Letter from Ralph Vaughan Williams to Hubert Foss (OUP)

Letter No.: 
VWL1539
June 13 [1941]

The White Gates,
Dorking.

Dear Foss

I think you had better deal with enclosed - if you do not mind - Walford asked me to write these a long time ago - & I had quite forgotten about them. The fee seems very good as they are never more than ten bars long each. But in case the O.U.P.1 ever wished to publish then I suggest that we should get clear with the B.B.C. over publication rights
I think they had better send me a copy (or to you) as I have quite forgotten what they are like & I wrote them in a great hurry.2
By the way you have not sent me a copy of “l’Alouette” yet3
Yrs

R. Vaughan Williams


1. Oxford University Press
2. The copyright section of the BBC had written to VW saying that they understood he had written 9 Introits which they hoped to broadcast from time to time; that they had discovered that the Performing Right Society would not pay the royalties due on performances within religious services and therefore they proposed that they should pay an outright fee of 8 guineas each for the right to perform, record and broadcast them whenever they desired. Walford Davies had been on the advisory staff of the BBC 1927-39. The works were listed as:

All nations whom thou hast made shall come
Be strong all ye people of the land
I heard a voice from heaven saying unto me
Jesus said, Inasmuch as ye did unto me
Jesus said, Upon this rock will I build my church
Nations shall come to thy light
Jesus said, Blessed are they that mourn
There were great voices in Heaven saying
Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace

Oxford University Press wrote to the BBC on VW’s behalf accepting the fee of 8 guineas but reserving all rights other than that to broadcast in religious services and asking for a copy of each introit. These scores do not appear to have been ever sent nor have the original scores been discovered at the BBC. For VW’s recollection of the whole matter see VWL2188, a letter to Foss commenting on the work-list in his book on VW.
3. VW planned to include the song in the film 49th Parallel (Catalogue of Works 1940/3).

Location of original letter:

Shelfmark of original letter: 
File 119
General notes: 

Letter stamped with year by Oxford University Press.

Format: 
Letter
Citation: 
Cobbe 362
Original database number: 
410613