Letter from Ralph Vaughan Williams to Adrian Boult

Letter No.: 
VWL1871
Feb 1 [1945]

The White Gates
Dorking

Dear Adrian

Thankyou very much for your letter
- 1st I want to say thankyou for a splendid performance1 & the chorus was magnificent & the two soloists covered themselves with glory - also the orchestra - but there there2 was the old trouble that when the chorus was singing I could not hear the orchestra - but of course that was in the hands of the control & had nothing to do with you.
As regards your special points - if you ever do it again do substitute trombones for horns at the beginning - but not both.
The other place “O soul thou pleasest me” is more difficult - we have tried de-muting the 4th horn - but it sticks out much too much
- would you try a single cello muted and pp added to the 4th horn? I believe that would solve it - but it must not be played like a solo with lots of vibrato etc.3
Yrs  RVW


1.  Of A Sea Symphony.
2.  sic.
3.  This refers to the passage 2 bars before Letter P in the Finale.

Location of original letter:

Shelfmark of original letter: 
Add MS 60499, f. 203

Location of copy:

Shelfmark of copy: 
MS Mus. 1714/1/16, ff. 105-108
General notes: 

Year date from date stamp (2 Feb 1945).

Format: 
Letter
Citation: 
Printed in Moore, Music and Friends, pp.145-146.
Original database number: 
450201