Letter from Adeline Vaughan Williams to Cordelia Curle

Letter No.: 
Thursday [April 11 1946]

Belov Boo
So glad the parcel only took 1 day to reach & now I've just received a handsome one from Bob - butter!& tea & a varied lot of this & that.
Were you disappointed in Sir John- I fortified myself with wool in both ears & had the score. Mrs Ford3 shone out from the rest - the want of conviction in most of the singers comes out more clearly in a broadcast R says & I felt that - &, as Henry J4 would say, there was no "Nuance" in the orchestra - I was disappointed in their playing but all the same I felt I had a grand evening.
When it was over we had china tea & a plate of beetroot & cheese sandwiches.

Ralph is seeing Steuart5 in Guys Hosp on his way to R.C.M.6 He sounds so well & Mary7 says she has been going to see him with her cold so R is not to be afraid of going.
R says don't keep a Chelsea ticket for him - If duty doesn't compel him to go to London he wants to be at home to get on with his scoring and now it happens that Goossens8 is playing the concerto in Dork later in June - a Kathleen Riddick concert at the County School.9
I've written to Bob to say we are sending the Broadwood to you - that R has too much affection for it to be tried by strangers - Now that you are getting rid of the Glockenspiel when can you receive it? You know the pitch is low as all old pianos should be.10
Stanley Spencer is the painter of those obscene figures.
I was glad to hear of Bernard playing under Sargent. Wasn't Szigeti the violinist? He came to 13 Cheyne Walk once to play the Lark Ascending to R - a great friend & admirer of Bartok.
Yr A


1. Post-war rationing was still in place. Bob is Robert de Ropp, a young relative of AVW whom they had looked after for some years.
2. Sir John in Love
3. A character in the opera, 
4. Henry J. Wood, the conductor.
5. Steuart Wilson, the tenor, who was in Guys Hospital.
6. Royal College of Music.
7. Mary Wilson, wife of Steuart.
8. Leon Goossens
9. Kathleen Riddick, conductor, organised a series of concerts in Dorking.
10. Presumably the 'Glockenspiel' was an inferior piano.

Location of original letter:

Shelfmark of original letter: 
MS Mus. 1714/1/16, ff. 44-45
General notes: 

Date added in another hand; actual date of 11th surmised from context. There is also an annotation ascribing the date of the Goossens concert to 22 June 1946.  The first professional performance of Sir John in Love was at Sadlers Wells Theatre on 9 April 1946.