Letter from Ralph Vaughan Williams to Imogen Holst

Letter No.: 
Nov 26 [probably 1939]

The White Gates,

My Dear Imogen

1)   The obviously right person to orchestrate the M.B. Suite is Imogen Holst.1
2)   I suppose you must accept 50.50.2
3)   Stand firm about the interpolated number.3
4)  I feel that if we once start tampering with the words of the masque we shall never stop.  So leave them.4
5)   As regards publisher - Foss was never keen for some strange reason on Gustav's work - but they are publishing a few things - so it might be worth while.  I shd feel most inclined for Novello or Boosey (who are as you know now doing choral work) - of course it wd have a large sale for every Paulina wd buy a copy.5
How are you & is there any job in sight?6
Love from us both

Uncle Ralph

1. First Suite in E flat for military band, op.28 no.1, H105. An arrangement for orchestra by Gordon Jacob (Imogen Holst’s teacher of composition at the Royal College of Music) was published in 1940 by Boosey & Hawkes.
2. This was presumably a proposal that Imogen Holst share the royalties from the publication 50-50 with the arranger.
3. It is unclear whether this refers to the Suite or to the Masque.
4. The Vision of Dame Christian, H 101. On the masque see VWL 391106a.
5. Imogen Holst had no success in finding a publisher and the work remains unpublished.
6. See VWL683, footnote.

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